The Payroll Podcast: HMRC Transforming Payroll in a Pandemic with Joanna Rowland #58 (Video)

Nick Day is joined on The Payroll Podcast sofa by Joanna Rowland, Director General, Transformation Group at HM Revenue & Customs!

Joanna is an experienced Transformation Director with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry, and has been with the HMRC for over 8 years where she was also Programme Director for the Making Tax Digital project!

In this “HMRC Transforming Payroll in a Pandemicepisode with Joanna Rowland, on The Payroll Podcast, we also explore:

  1. Joanna, I would love it if you could describe your role within the HMRC as well as give our listeners a quick overview of the role HMRC plays in relation to payroll?
  2. Recently, we have seen Payroll practitioners across the UK rise to the challenge of keeping the UK paid despite having to get to grips with new CJRS legislation that has constantly changed as the UK navigates its way through the pandemic. I imagine it must also have been equally challenging for the HMRC to interpret and produce guidance as quickly as it has! Can you tell me more about the role HMRC plays behind the scenes when new policies such as CJRS are developed and launched?
  3. On February 26th, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, tweeted that he was incredibly proud of the teams within the HM Treasury and HMRC for the systems set up to help pay people’s wages throughout this crisis (which had never been created before), and for stepping up to “every challenge they faced”. Can you tell me more about these challenges and how you overcame them?
  4. From your perspective, have you been surprised at how well the payroll community has been able to adapt to the covid and furlough related challenges that they have faced – often processing and submitting payrolls from remote working offices – and yet they still managed to keep the world paid!?
  5. Since I have been involved in payroll, I have seen the HMRC undergo a significant digitisation programme, which has resulted in some great initiatives! One example of this was the rollout of RTI in 2013, which was billed at the time as the most significant change to the Pay as You Earn since 1944! This initiative alone has saved the exchequer hundreds of millions of pounds. More recently, we have seen other significant initiatives come to the fore, such as Personal Tax Accounts. Therefore, I would love to ask what other initiatives do HMRC have in the pipeline?

Links highlighted in this “HMRC Transforming Payroll in a Pandemic” episode are included below:

Of course, if you are Payroll Leader listening to this podcast and you have a payroll-related vacancy that you would love some specialist payroll recruitment support with – please also get in touch with me!  I would love to help show you what a great Payroll recruitment experience feels like!  You can reach out to me directly at or give me a call – 01727800377

Thanks for listening folks – I look forward to bringing you the next episode of the Payroll Podcast real soon