Making sure employees are paid the minimum wage is something which sounds obvious and straightforward. Last month, however, HMRC named over 200 employers who failed to pay their employees the minimum wage. This breach of National Minimum Wage (NMW) law by 202 employers, added up to £5 million in underpayments, and left around 63,000 workers out of pocket. Among the businesses named were major high street brands like Marks and Spencer, Argos and WH Smith, as well as various SMEs and sole traders.
Regarding the naming of these businesses, here’s what Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake had to say:
“Paying the legal minimum wage is non-negotiable and all businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working staff.
Most businesses do the right thing and look after their employees, but we’re sending a clear message to the minority who ignore the law: pay your staff properly or you’ll face the consequences.”
The investigations by HMRC took place between 2017 and 2019. The businesses which were listed have paid back what they owed their staff and have also faced financial penalties. However, the loss of trust and the reputational damage these underpayments have caused, may be much harder to repair.
The employers named last month were found to have underpaid workers in the following ways:
As a payroll processor, you’re responsible for making sure that clients’ employees are paid fairly and according to the law— and that means understanding the ins and outs of minimum wage calculations. It’s important to keep in mind the different minimum wage rates that apply to different age and work categories. The rates are updated annually, so make sure you’re always using the current rates. Check out our blog to see the NMW rates for this tax year. Your payroll software provider should update their software each year to reflect new minimum wage rates.
It’s the responsibility of the client to make sure that you have all the information you need, and that the information you have is correct, to ensure that employees are paid the correct rates. Examples of this information could be an employee’s date of birth, their employment status, the hours they worked, details of any overtime and training or travelling time.
With the right payroll software, you and your clients can rest assured that their payroll is in compliance with Irish law.
From the 1st of January 2024, the introduction of Section 897C into The Finance Act 2022 will require employers and payroll processors to report details of certain payments made to employees and directors. Where you make one or more of the payments listed below, you must submit the details electronically to Revenue. This submission must be made on or before the payment date.
It should be noted that the new requirements from January 2024 represent phase one of Enhanced Reporting Requirements (ERR). Revenue has not yet indicated what will be included in future phases.
Since January 2022, employers have been able to reward employees with up to two small benefits each year. From 2024, employers will be required to report to Revenue, the value of the benefits paid to each employee.
These non-cash benefits are tax free and must not exceed a combined total of €1,000 in value. After surveying 125 of our payroll customers, we discovered that 76% of them offer their employees a small benefit, such as gift cards during the festive season. It's always nice to see employers going the extra mile for their valued staff!
For the days an employee is working from home, they may be eligible for tax relief on expenses such as their heating, broadband and electricity. To ease the financial burden, employers can pay employees up to €3.20 a day without paying any tax, PRSI or USC on it.
For each employee you are paying a Remote Working daily allowance to, you are required to report the total of number of days they are receiving the allowance for, and the rate being paid.
If you have employees who travel for business or who are working away from their employer’s base, you can reimburse them for their travel expenses. You can also reimburse them for subsistence costs when they are temporarily away from their usual place of work, such as the cost of staying in a hotel or the cost of a meal.
The following items and the amounts paid must be reported for each employee and/or director:
Revenue (through ROS) will provide a means of manually submitting ERR details. It is our intention to provide an alternative to this manual system, working alongside your payroll software, to save time and provide more accuracy. We also hope to provide guidance in relation to qualifying criteria and backup documentation required in the event of a query by Revenue.
From our customer survey, we found that 14% of those surveyed reimbursed employees’ expenses as part of the normal payroll run, 34% reimbursed employees as soon as they submitted a claim, and 22% reimburses both through payroll and on an ad hoc basis. We aim to design our system in such a way that where travel and subsistence is paid as part of a normal payroll run, the relevant ERR submission can be made as seamlessly as possible. Further information on ERR will be published by Revenue in due course.
To keep up with the latest payroll news, check out our new Bright website. There, you'll be able to register for any of our upcoming payroll webinars and download our payroll guides. For more information on ERR, please visit our hub by clicking the button below.
Your brand isn't just a fancy emblem or catchy tagline – it's the entire perception people have of your firm. So why not stand out from the crowd by showing your commitment to social justice? Incorporating DEI into your brand not only sets you apart, but also positions your firm as a reliable and dedicated ally. Let’s explore why DEI could be the missing piece to your branding puzzle.
DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion – more on that here) is taking over the business world, which is crucial, especially in light of events over recent years that have highlighted societal inequalities. By incorporating DEI into your brand identity, you're shouting from the rooftops that you care about more than just making money. You're a company with a heart and soul, committed to making a positive impact on the world.
Research shows that 74% of millennials believe that an inclusive culture foster more innovation, so a company with strong DEI values attracts the best and brightest talent. We all know that the accounting industry has a diversity problem, but did you know that companies with more diversity are 15% more likely to financially outperform their competitors? By prioritising diversity, you're not only building a team that's more creative and innovative, but you're also showing candidates that you're committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone.
Nowadays, people want to endorse companies prioritising diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you turn a blind eye to DEI and ignore it, you’ll risk coming across as out of touch, and even unfriendly. If your firm is one that prioritises DEI, you'll stand out from firms that don't.
How can people get behind what you do? If you claim that diversity is part of your brand, then live by it. Walk your talk – don’t just have it down on paper. Weave your values into everything you do, from website design all the way through to your tax software.
Consumers are smart and can quickly discern whether a company's commitment to DEI is sincere or just a marketing ploy. Identify areas where you can improve – like more inclusive hiring policies, DEI training, or promoting staff equitably for leadership positions.
How do you inspire people to support your cause? If you're all about diversity, show us! Don't just say it, slay it. Embrace your values wholeheartedly, starting with your website design right through to sorting tax returns.
Let's not beat around the bush, customers know when they're being hoodwinked by a fake commitment to equality. Take a good look at yourself and see where you can do better – a more inclusive hiring policy or promoting staff to leadership roles regardless of their background can make a real difference.
To learn more about the importance of branding, Jonathan Stobart and Alex Tory from Bright's marketing management team recently hosted a webinar on how a powerful branding strategy can transform your firm, attracting the right clients and unlock success. To watch it, just click the link below.
Here at Bright, we create software for tax, compliance, practice management and payroll. We’re on a mission to make a happy and efficient working life a reality for accountants through reliable software and amazing support.
Making the planet a better place doesn't involve just going veggie for a day or buying a reusable straw (although every little step does help). If you want to save the planet, you've got to think big picture. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is rapidly becoming standard practice in businesses, with 70% of people willing to cancel their relationship with a brand that doesn’t take sustainability and social initiatives seriously. People want to be part of the solution (not the pollution), so how can you, as their accountant, lead the way? Let’s dive into it.
While Earth Day is this Saturday, every day is an opportunity to level up your ESG game. How? Well, you're naturally looking for ways to add more value to your services and keep loyal customers coming back, and ESG is a great way to achieve this. If clients can use your services to not only balance their books, but to reduce their carbon footprint too, it gives you that 'eco-edge' in the market. Luckily, your clients have a superhero in their corner – you, their accountant, with all the number-crunching tips and to help them get there.
Think about it – if you implement a plan to reduce your carbon footprint, or work with energy-efficient suppliers to run your firm, couldn’t your clients to do the same? Whether it's switching to e-payslips, installing solar panels, offering staff incentives like a "bike to work" program, or a volunteer day at a local charity – promote the positive impact you're making. This can ripple out to your clients, and spark sustainable ideas for them too.
While this may seem like an unnecessary burden, making these changes now could actually save you money in the long run. The world's becoming more green – especially giving the taxes and schemes in recent years - like the Carbon Tax and home energy upgrade grants.
Lastly, report honestly about your ESG efforts and plans. Here at Bright, our Green Team served up a delicious veggie lunch on Monday the 17th of April, and we did a litter-pickup around the business park of our head office in Duleek. Last July, we also made a donation for 60 native trees to be planted by HomeTree.ie in Co. Clare in Ireland after each member achieved their goal to walk 130km in our 2022 Charity Walk.
We’re on a mission to make a happier, more efficient and sustainable working life a reality for accountants through reliable software and amazing support. We create multi-award-winning payroll software, accounting software, accounts production software, and practice management software. Let’s work together towards a Brighter and greener future!
Now that 2023 is almost upon us, let’s get you up to speed on your year-end duties. Here are some final things to note, and some common questions that’ve come in, so you can have Thesaurus Payroll Manager all set and ready to go for January.
To purchase your licence for the new tax year, simply login to your BrightID. From here, go to ‘Licences’ and ‘purchase a desktop licence key’. Just select the type of licence you require, select a payment method and enter your billing details. You’ll then be emailed your licence key. To download the software for the new tax year, click here.
On the open screen, select? ‘Import from last year's payroll'?or go to?File > Import files from 2022. Select last year’s payroll software. All employer files will appear and you simply select employer from the listing and click the double right arrow button to bring them across into the new tax year. If you have multiple employers to import, select them from the central box and repeat the process. Thesaurus Payroll Manager will let you know when the data has been imported.
Please note that?if you’re using the standard version of Thesaurus Payroll Manager and the software is installed to the default directory, you’ll be offered an automated import.
Year-end summary reports are available under ‘Reports’ > ‘Year end Summary’ and can be printed or copied into excel.
P60s are no longer used as of 2019, and have been replaced with Employment Details Summary (EDS). This is essentially a summary of an employee’s pay, income tax, USC, PRSI and LPT and is available for to access, print or save through Revenue’s myAccount. We advise that employees wait until after the 15th of January to access their EPS, as employers can make corrections on them up until this date.?
P35s are also no longer used, and have been replaced with PSRs that are submitted each pay period through your payroll software to Revenue.
RPNs for next year will be available in December 2022, but won’t be updated in real time until 2023. If an employee’s payment date is 2023, you must use 2023 RPN as a 2022 RPN can’t be used in 2023. We advise payroll processors to not make payroll submissions with a 2023 pay date until the RPNs are available, as emergency tax will apply.
A ‘Week 53’ is when there’s an extra day in the tax year and a pay day falls on the 31st of December or, in a leap year, on the 30th or 31st of December, and is not the employee’s normal payday.
It only applies to employees who are paid weekly (53 weekly payments) fortnightly (27 fortnightly payments) or every four weeks (14 four-week payments) pay days in the year.
If a ‘Week 53’ payment applies to an employee, PAYE Regulations state that the employers should use the latest RPN to apply an extra pay period’s Tax Credit and Cut-Off Points, and deduct Income Tax and USC on a Week 1 basis. No additional tax credits or rate bands are due.
Your payroll software should automatically apply the rules outlined above. Just make sure to run ‘Week 53’ as a separate payroll run to other pay periods, so the is submitted with the correct payment date to Revenue.
Please note that?Thesaurus Payroll Manager will always offer a Week 53 option subsequent to the completion of Week 52. However, it should only be used if, on completion of week 52, there’s a subsequent pay period within the same tax year. If an employee's normal pay day has changed during this tax, additional USC cut off points don’t?apply.
To let the software know and prevent these extra USC cut off points from being allocated, go to Employees > Add/Amend Employees > Select the employee > Click the Revenue Details tab > Tick to indicate exemptions/exclusions apply > tick to exclude the employee from the week 53 USC concession > update to save the change.
If an employee’s pay straddles between two tax years, credits and rate bands?cannot?be given in advance. So if an employee is receiving two weeks of pay on the 23rd of December this year for the following two Mondays on the 26th December and 2nd January, the payment date must be reported as December 23rd using the credits and rates from week 52. They will then receive the benefits of two weeks’ credits and rate bands in week 2 of 2022. ‘Week 53’ will not apply to this situation and if attempted, will result in underpayments to employees.
Here at Thesaurus Payroll Manager, we work hard behind the scenes to ensure our payroll software has all the latest updates, and is simple and easy to use. For all the latest payroll trends and news, subscribe to our newsletter. Interested in learning about more about Bright’s products? We offer a range of multi-award-winning payroll, HR, accounting, tax and practice management software. Book a demo today to see what you’re missing.
|Friday 23rd||09:00 - 13:00|
|Wednesday 28th||09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00|
|Thursday 29th||09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 17:00|
|Friday 30th||09:00 - 13:00 | 14:00 - 16:45|
|Saturday 31st December||Closed|
|Sunday 1st January||Closed|
|Monday 2nd January||Closed|
All of the staff here at Thesaurus Payroll Manager would like to thank you for your valued custom in 2022. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
To contact our support team you can call us on 01 835 2074, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A week 53 arises in payroll when there is an extra payday in the tax year. It only applies to employees who are paid weekly (week 53), fortnightly (fortnight 27) or 4-weekly (4-weekly 14).
If an employer changes a payday during the year, or in the previous year, resulting in a ‘week 53’ payday, no additional tax credits or rate band are due. This also applies where a payment, including a notional payment, is made to an employee on 31 December (or 30/31 December in a leap year) and it is not the employee’s normal payday.
If a week 53 arises, PAYE Regulations state that the employer should use the latest Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) to apply an extra pay period’s tax Credit and cut-off points and deduct Income Tax and Universal Social Charge (USC) on a Week 1 basis. If the emergency tax basis applies to an employee, then the employer must continue to apply the normal rules that apply to the calculation of income tax or USC on an emergency basis.
If a normal week 53 applies, your payroll software will automatically apply the rules, as outlined above. It is highly recommended that you always run a week 53 as a separate payroll run to any other payroll period, ensuring that a separate Payroll Submission Request (PSR) is submitted to Revenue with the correct payment day.
If the normal pay date falls on the 1st January and payment is made to the Employees on the 31st of December (as the 1st is a Bank Holiday) this is not a week 53 calculation, but the first pay period of the new tax year.
On 27th of September 2022, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, presented the 2023 budget. Minister McGrath called the budget a “Cost of Living Budget”, and said it was focused on helping individuals, families and businesses deal with rising prices.
Below, we've listed some of the measures from the budget which will most affect employers.
There are no change to tax rates for 2023, the standard rate will remain at 20% and the higher rate at 40%.
• The Standard Rate Cut Off Point (SRCOP) has been increased by €3,200 from €36,800 to €40,000
• The Personal Tax Credit increased by €75 from €1,700 to €1,775
• The Employee Tax Credit increased by €75 from €1,700 to €1,775
• The Earned Income Credit increased by €75 from €1,700 to €1,775
• The Home Carer’s Tax Credit will increase by €100
• Exemption threshold remains at €13,000
• There are no changes to the rates of USC
• The 2% USC rate band has increased by €1,625, from €21,295 to €22,920
USC Rates & Bands 2023
• €0 – €12,012 @ 0.5%
• €12,013 – €22,920@ 2%
• €22,921 – €70,044 @ 4.5%
• €70,045 + @ 8%
Medical card holders and individuals aged 70 years and older whose aggregate income does not exceed €60,000 will continue to pay a maximum rate of 2%.
The emergency rate of USC remains at 8%.
Non-PAYE income in excess of €100,000 will continue to be subject to USC at 11%.
Any taxpayer that are renting a property and are not receiving housing supports will qualify for a rent tax credit of €500 per annum. In the case of married couples or civil partners this credit will be doubled. This will come into effect in 2023 but can be claimed for rent paid in 2022 in early 2023.
The tax relief for remote workers remains unchanged at claiming relief of to 30% of the cost of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband in respect of those days spent working from home.
The Small Benefit Exemption has been increased from €500 to €1,000, with employers permitted to give employees two vouchers per year, as opposed to one voucher which was permitted to date. This applies for 2022 and years following.
There are no changes to the ASC rates for 2023.
The National Minimum Wage will increase by 80 cent from €10.50 to €11.30 per hour from 1st January 2023.
Due to the increase in the minimum wage on 1st January 2023 the upper threshold for paying the 8.8% Class A rate of employer PRSI is being increased from €410 to €441 from the 1st January 2023. There is no change to the PRSI credit.
The reduced rate of 9% VAT for the tourism and hospitality sector and electricity and gas bills will continue to apply until the 28th February 2023. 0% rate of Vat is introduced in respect of newspapers and news periodicals, including digital editions, defibrillators, hormone replacement and nicotine replacement therapies, and certain period products from 1st January 2023.
There will be a €12 increase to core weekly Social Welfare payments with effect from January 2023. The maximum personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased to € per week. Maternity/Paternity/Adoptive /Parent’s Benefit will increase to €262 per week from 1st January 2023.
This week was both a sad and exciting week for everyone here at Bright as our current Chief Executive Officer, Paul Byrne has decided to step down as CEO and transition into a new role as Founder Board Director. It is hard to put into words how amazing a CEO Paul Byrne has been for the past 32 years. As the founding father of Thesaurus Software and Brightpay Paul built Thesaurus Software from a small family company to become Bright, a leading provider of accounting, payroll and HR solutions. With this amazing growth the small company family has grown to a family of over 200 employees who I think will all agree that the company wouldn’t be where it is today without Paul’s hard work and amazing leadership.
Although it is sad to have our amazing leader stepping down it allows Paul to get back to what he loves, his original product baby, Thesaurus Payroll Manager which he is excited to dedicate more of this time towards. So while Paul gets back to his coding roots we are both delighted and excited to announce that AccountancyManager’s Kevin McCallum will take the baton from Paul and will be Bright’s new CEO. ??
Kevin joined Bright as part of the AccountancyManager acquisition back in March 2022 and since then Kevin has shown great knowledge, energy, and experience. Since joining Bright, Kevin has been impressed with our shared vision and passion for the future of the accounting industry which is what will make for an exciting year ahead with Kevin at the helm.
To celebrate this new phase in Paul and Kevin’s lives we had a small celebration in our head office in Duleek where kind words were shared by our Chief Revenue Officer, Karen and Chief People Officer, Laura who presented Paul with a small gift to mark Paul’s impact on the business and to show our thanks for what he has done for the company and its employees to date. And for us to always remember our former CEO we have changed the name of his favourite room, the boardroom, to be 'The Paul Byrne Suite'.
Thank you again Paul for everything you have done for the staff over the past 32 years and congratulations to both Paul and Kevin on their new roles, the future is certainly Bright.
Today we treated our employees in our Duleek, Tallaght, Warwick, and India offices with a sweet treat.
Our employees were surprised with ice cream at lunchtime as a perfect mid-week rescue.
It certainly went down a treat!