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Plan ahead and get those Christmas payments wrapped up early

As the days count down to the end of 2021, businesses across the country are being reminded to plan ahead if they have essential payments to make over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Pay.UK, which runs the Bacs Direct Credit and Direct Debit payment systems, is providing useful advice and tips to help organisations, large and small, to plan ahead of the additional non-payment processing days over the festive period – including a reminder that payment files can be submitted up to 30 days in advance.

This flexibility may be especially helpful this year, given that Christmas and Boxing Day fall over a weekend, meaning that subsequent bank holidays will follow on the Monday and Tuesday (27 and 28 December). In the same way, Monday 3 January will also be a non-processing day as a result of New Year’s Day falling on a Saturday.

That means that if salaries, supplier payments, or bills are due to be paid or collected on Christmas Eve (Friday 24 December), then the latest date you can submit your Bacs payment files is Wednesday 22 December.

If funds are due to be debited / credited on the first official working day after Christmas – Wednesday 29 December – then payment files must be submitted no later than Thursday 23 December.

And, for payments due before the end of the year, the submission process must begin by Wednesday 29 December at the latest. If payments are due on the first working day after the New Year celebrations (Tuesday 4 January 2022), then the deadline for submitting payment files is Thursday 30 December.

Some top festive payments tips:

  • Make sure you’ve downloaded our handy 2021 processing calendar and share with colleagues who may benefit from a quick reference guide to festive payment dates
  • Plan ahead and where possible submit files early – remember that you can do this up to 30 days in advance
  • Check that files have been submitted with the correct processing dates, taking into account the additional bank holidays, and ensure your software reflects Bacs non-processing days
  • Consider asking another member of staff to help in reviewing submission dates
  • We know that the festive period is a particularly busy time, so with less staff likely to be working over Christmas and New Year, review contingency plans for any unforeseen absences
  • It’s a phrase we’ve had to become accustomed to, but as many workplaces are still operating in a ‘new normal’, with staff based remotely in many cases, now might be a good time to review if all those who may need to submit payment files have the equipment they require
  • Remember that you can get more information from bacs.co.uk and www.wearepay.uk.