September 2016 saw the introduction of Paternity Leave, that for the first time ever allowed fathers/partners to take two weeks paid leave on the birth of a child/placement of a child for adoption. Paternity Leave is paid at the same rate as Maternity Pay, currently €235 per week*, leaving it up to employers to decide whether or not they wish to top-up pay during the two weeks leave. The question then arose that if by topping up maternity leave, would an employer by default have to top up paternity pay?
A recent Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) case involving a transport company, provides useful guidance on the answer to this question.
In this case, a male employee brought a case under the Employment Equality Act claiming discrimination on the grounds of gender due to the fact that the employer topped up maternity pay but did not top up paternity pay.
However, the WRC Adjudicator held in favour of the Company, stating that maternity leave is different to paternity leave and that “the special protection afforded to women in connection with pregnancy and maternity is embedded in European and Irish law”. The Adjudicator concluded that the employer was entitled to make special provisions for women at the time of maternity leave and was protected in that regard by the Employment Equality Acts.
This case gives the green light to employers who wish to offer a maternity top up but not offer the same for paternity leave. Whatever it is you decide on, employers are advised to have clear paternity and maternity leave policies in place that is accessible to all employees.
*The rate of maternity/paternity pay will increase to €240 per week from the end of March 2018.
Get ready as more legislation hit Irish and European businesses. The objective of the recent EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to bring data protection standards up-to-date and to ensure that individuals in the EU are appropriately protected from privacy and data breaches. It comes into effect on 25th May 2018, however this date is a deadline as opposed to a starting point.
Business owners who start looking at GDPR on or after the 25th May will be at serious risk of non-compliance. You will need to act now to understand and prepare for GDPR well in advance of the May deadline. Over the next few months, it would be advisable to set aside some time to focus on being fully compliant by the 25th May 2018.
BrightPay is committed to helping our customers and others understand the impact of GDPR. We have designed free webinars for accountants and employers to take you through the key steps to be GDPR compliant.
Register now for our free webinars which take place over the coming months.
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How will PAYE Modernisation affect your business?
The existing PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system was introduced nearly sixty years ago ensuring that correct deductions are made relating to pay and tax. From 1st January 2019, this system for PAYE will undergo a long overdue update called PAYE Modernisation. Under the new legislation, whenever Irish employers pay their employees, a file must be electronically submitted to Revenue containing details of these payments.
The Irish PAYE system is currently undergoing a massive overhaul, with new changes being implemented from 1st January 2019. This is called PAYE Modernisation. The existing system was introduced nearly 60 years ago and so this update is long overdue.
With PAYE Modernisation, employers, or bureaus on their behalf, will need to submit an electronic file to Revenue each time an employee has been paid. This real time reporting will enable Revenue to ensure that employees are receiving their correct tax credits and cut off points at all times.
Fortunately for employers and payroll bureaus, this real-time reporting will replace most of the “P” forms (P30, P35, P45, P46 and P60) enabling them to reduce their workload. Most payroll systems will automate many of the new processes, whereby electronic files will be automatically created and sent to Revenue at the click of a button.
Revenue is joining Thesaurus Software for a series of free, CPD accredited webinars. The webinars are customised to both employers and payroll bureaus for them to find out how they will be affected by PAYE Modernisation.
Our previous PAYE Modernisation webinars were highly sought after with over 2,000 employers and payroll bureaus in attendance. Places are limited - make sure to book your place now to avoid disappointment.
If you are unable to attend the webinars at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.
We have lots more webinars scheduled over the coming months. Don’t miss out - make sure to sign up to our newsletter today! You will have the option to unsubscribe at any time.
The National Minimum Wage for an experienced adult worker is increasing to €9.55 per hour from January 1st 2018. This is the third year in a row that the NMW has been increased but this is by far the largest with an increase of .30c
The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 provides for a minimum hourly rate of pay for all workers.
All workers, including full time, part time, casual and temporary will be deemed to be covered by the act with only 2 exceptions; close relatives of the employer and certain industry specific apprentices.
Workers can be broken down into 5 different categories; experienced adult workers in employment more than 2 years and over the age of 18, a worker under the age of 18, workers in their first and second year of employment who are over the age of 18 and trainees’ who are undergoing a course that satisfies certain conditions set out in the Act.
The new minimum hourly rates are:
Breaches of the act are deemed to be criminal offences and are punishable with hefty fines and even imprisonment.
Click here to download Standard Version
Click here to download Bureau Version
We have prepared a help sheet to guide you through the set up.
2018 Thesaurus Payroll Manager caters for all relevant budget changes and a host of new features.
Many of the new features have been prompted by PAYE Modernisation, which will be effective from 1st January 2019, and by GDPR. Further information on PAYE Modernisation can be found here
The main new features are as follows:
Please note, from 1st January 2018, Revenue will tax Illness Benefit by adjusting an employee's tax credits and cut off points. As a result of this change there will be more frequent P2Cs issued for employees.
Employee Gift Cards
Thesaurus Payroll Manager continues to offer gift card integration with One4All. Orders are delivered in a plain envelope, addressed to the employer, with all gift cards enclosed. The deadline for orders and payments to ensure delivery in time for Christmas is Wednesday 20th December at 12 p.m.
Find out more about gift cards, the tax advantages and payroll integration here
The management and staff of Thesaurus Software Ltd would like to thank you for your valued custom in 2017 and to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Our office will be closed on the 25th and 26th of December, it will re-open on the 27th of December; it will also be closed on the 1st of January.
A new Bill, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, was published last week. According to the Employment and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, the new Bill will prohibit zero hour contracts in most circumstances, as well as aiming to tackle problems caused by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work.
Key elements of the new Bill include:
Employers must give employees basic terms of employment within 5 days.
Within five days of a new employee starting employment, the employer must provide them with five core terms of employment. These 5 terms are:
Employers who fail to provide these basic terms, who deliberately mislead or give false information will be open to prosecution. This is a new offence.
In line with current legislation, the remaining terms of employment will still need to be provided within two months of the employee’s start date.
Zero hour contracts to be Prohibited in most circumstances.
Zero hour contracts will be prohibited in all circumstances except in cases of genuine casual work or where they are essential to allow employers to provide cover in an emergency situation or to cover short-term absences.
New minimum payment to be introduced.
Employees called into work but sent home again without work will now be entitled to a payment. Additionally, if an employee has not worked at all in a week or has worked less than 25% of their contract hours, they will also be entitled to a minimum payment. The payment shall be calculated as the pay that the employee would have receive had they worked the lesser of:
That minimum payment must be three times the National Minimum Wage or the rate set out in any applicable Employment Regulation Order.
The Bill introduces new rights for new employees whose contract of employment does not reflect the reality of the hours they habitually work. For example, the contract states 15 hours per week where in reality the employee usually works 30 hours per week. After a work period of 18 months, an employee will be able to submit a written request to change their contractual hours. The employees request must be granted within two months, only in exceptional cases will the employer be permitted to refuse the request.
Penalisation of Employees
Employees seeking to invoke their employment rights under the Bill will have strong protections against penalisation. Where an employee successfully makes a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission, they could be entitled to up to four weeks’ remuneration.
The Bill was presented to the Dail on Thursday 7th December 2017, it is hoped that the Bill will be taken at Second Stage early in the New Year.
Our highly experienced support professionals have put together this free webinar covering the year end procedures within Thesaurus Payroll Manager.
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Thesaurus Payroll Manager now offers a facility where users can securely purchase one for all gift cards for their employees. In 2015, the Irish government announced that employers could give a gift card of up to €500 tax free to employees. Gift cards arrive addressed to the employer in an unmarked envelope for extra security.
PAYE Modernisation is probably the biggest overhaul of the PAYE system since PAYE itself was introduced back in 1960. It will have wide ranging effects on all employers across Ireland. Places are limited.
With effect from 1st January 2018, employers will no longer be responsible for taxing Illness Benefit. From this date Revenue will tax Illness Benefit by adjusting employee's tax credits and/or rate bands.
Today, we are all living longer healthier lives. However, as a nation, we are not saving enough for our retirement. The Irish government aims to bring in an auto enrolment system where all employers would be required to enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards the employee pension pot.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018. Employers process large amounts of personal data, not least in relation to their customers and their own employees. Consequently, the GDPR will impact most if not all areas of businesses and the impact it will have cannot be overstated.
New technologies can positively impact the way bureaus offer payroll services. There are several exciting developments that are happening right now in the cloud. Be ready to offer a new level of payroll and HR services by embracing new-world online technologies.
Thesaurus Payroll Manager 2018 is now available to purchase online. We’re delighted to introduce our new bureau features that will help you get the very best payroll experience yet, including direct emailing of reports, a payroll journal export and much more.
In the next few weeks, as we approach the year end, one of the most common questions for our support team is 'do I have a week 53'? A week 53 occurs when a pay day falls on 31st December or, in a leap year, on 30th or 31st December.
For 2017, unless your actual pay date is 31st December which falls on a Sunday, you should not be processing a week 53. If you do not pay employees on a Sunday your payroll will finish on week 52 and the next week due to be processed will be week 1 in the 2018 software. If for example, you pay your staff on Fridays, week 51 will be 22nd December, week 52 will be 29th December and that will complete the payroll for the tax year 2017. The next pay date will be Friday 5th January which is in the tax year 2018.
If the pay that would naturally fall due in the first week in January has to be paid in 2017 due to business closure, bank holiday etc it should still be processed as week 1 of 2018 to keep in line with Revenue's PAYE calendar. In this situation, the payment date can be changed to a 2017 date on the bank payment file in the 2018 software to ensure the payment is processed on time.
Many businesses close down before Christmas and do not reopen until the New Year, bank payment files can be uploaded in advance without anybody having to be in the office. Week 53 should only be used in 2017 if the normal pay date is Sunday 31st December.
An error a lot of employers make is when they are paying employees for two and three weeks together at the end of the year and although the software will allow them to use the week 53 facility only two of the three weeks should be processed in the current year's software. The third week should be processed on the new software on its own and the bank file can be changed to whatever date the employer would like the employees paid.
Friday pay date - To simplify things lets go back to the Friday pay date again. I am going on my Christmas holidays on Friday 22nd December and I want to process the payroll until I get back which will be Monday 8th January. I can process the last two weeks together i.e. pay dates 22nd and 29th December on the 2017 software and I can create a bank file. The 2018 software should be installed and the payroll normally due on the 5th January processed as week one. Once updated, the pay date on the bank payments file can be changed to any date in December or it can be left as 5th January at the employer's discretion.
Thesaurus Payroll Manager 2018 is now available to purchase online. We’re delighted to introduce our new features that will help you get the very best payroll experience yet. Here’s a peek at a few changes we are very excited about:
Direct emailing of reports: Bureaus will have the ability to email key payroll reports and a single PDF document containing all employee payslips directly from within Thesaurus Payroll Manager. This will save you time each pay period for each client, compared to the work involved in exporting, saving the files and emailing them to clients.
Getting ready for PAYE Modernisation: PAYE Modernisation will be effective from 1st January 2019 allowing for PAYE reporting to be submitted to Revenue in real time. By operating in real time, Revenue can ensure that the correct tax deduction is being made at the right time for every employee. Thesaurus Payroll Manager will have full functionality to seamlessly handle PAYE Modernisation. We’ve already begun to work directly with Revenue to streamline the PAYE Modernisation process. Find out more.
Illness Benefit: Illness Benefit will be taxable through the P2C file from 1st January 2018 and this will result in more frequent P2Cs being issued for employees.
Thesaurus Payroll Manager 2018 is getting ready for Illness Benefit changes and PAYE Modernisation:
We will bring you further updates throughout 2018, in many cases via free CPD webinars (which will also help with your structured CPD requirements). Register for our next free PAYE Modernisation webinars here.
Thesaurus Connect: Our latest cloud add-on introduces powerful features including:
Employee Gift Cards: In the last year, we’ve been working with OneforAll to offer your clients the ability to securely purchase gift cards for their employees. Orders are delivered in a plain envelope, addressed to the employer, with all gift cards enclosed. Find out more.
Payroll Journal Export: Export a payroll journal where your compatible files can be easily exported. Each payroll journal file is customised to the individual accounts software provider for easy upload.
End of year webinar
Our highly experienced support professionals have put together this free webinar covering the year end procedures within Thesaurus Payroll Manager.
Free PAYE Modernisation Webinar
PAYE Modernisation is probably the biggest overhaul of the PAYE system since PAYE itself was introduced back in 1960. It will have wide ranging effects on all employers across Ireland.
From 1st October 2017, the period for which Maternity Benefit is paid has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely. A premature birth is described as one at less than 37 weeks’ gestation. It is estimated that every year in Ireland approximately 4,500 babies are born prematurely.
Currently, under the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004, a mother is entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave and 16 weeks’ unpaid leave. Maternity leave normally starts two weeks before the babies expected due date or on the date of the birth of the child should it be earlier.
Under the new amendment, where a child is born prematurely the mother’s paid maternity leave will be extended by the equivalent of the duration between the actual date of birth of the premature baby and the date when the maternity leave was expected to start. For example, where a baby is born in the 30th week of gestation the mother would have an additional entitlement of approximately 7 weeks of maternity leave and benefit i.e. from the date of birth in the 30th week to the two weeks before the expected date of confinement. This additional period will be added onto the mother’s normal entitlement to 26 weeks of maternity leave and benefit, where the mother meets the ordinary qualifying criteria.
Mothers of preterm babies are advised to contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), email email@example.com, to arrange the additional payment.
Babies surviving from the earliest gestations, such as 23 weeks, can spend months in a neonatal unit in hospital, by the time a premature baby gets to go home, a mother’s maternity leave can almost be used up. This new change has been heralded as a positive step in supporting parents during a difficult time.