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. Register now for our free webinar to find out what you need to know about PAYE Modernisation. Speakers include Paul Byrne (Thesaurus Software) & Sinead Sweeney (Revenue)
Data protection and how personal data is managed is changing forever. On 25 May 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The GDPR is a European privacy regulation replacing all existing data protection regulations. Register now for our free, CPD accredited webinar to find out how this new legislation will affect your payroll bureau.
One of the most common calls on the support line is from a distressed customer who tells us they have lost their payroll information. Reasons for the loss of this information are varied and could be anything from a laptop being stolen, a virus attacking the computer or fire or water damage to the computers in the office.
We are giving customers one free Thesaurus Connect 2017 licence. With Thesaurus Connect, employers can login to their own personal employer dashboard where they can access employee payslips, payroll reports and a company wide calendar. It also includes a self-service portal for employees to view payslips and request annual leave.
Brian Hayes MEP has called on Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty to start work on the introduction of an automatic enrolment pension system, whereby all Irish private sector employees would be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme.
In our recent survey, we were delighted to discover that Thesaurus has a 99.6% customer satisfaction rate. Customers are also highly satisfied with our customer support team, with a satisfaction rate of 99.5%.
As Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland yesterday bringing with it a red status weather warning across the country, many Irish businesses closed their doors advising staff to stay at home. The decision came after it was announced that all schools and universities were to shut for the duration of the weather warning. Transport services across the nation were cancelled, while major supermarkets chains and large stores closed their doors.
Are employers obliged to pay an employee during this time?
Where an employer closes its doors for the day or has asked the employee not to come into work/or leave early due to safety concerns, then the employee should be paid as normal.
However, if the business were to remain open but the employee was unable to make the journey to work, or if a parent had to remain at home to look after their children when the schools are closed, then strictly speaking in these circumstances the employer has no obligation to pay the employee. We would advise employers to be as flexible as possible in these situations and to consider the effect it may have on staff morale if you were to deduct pay due to circumstances beyond the employee's control.
So what options are there for employers when employees miss work due to bad weather?
• To pay staff as normal for the time off
• To allow employees to work from home where possible
• To allow employees to work up the time missed at a later date
• To allow employees to be paid from their paid annual leave entitlement. It should be noted that although a good solution, forcing this option without prior agreement with the employee is not best practice.
Employers are advised to have a policy in place to cover absence due to inclement weather events addressing what would happen in the event of an employee being unable to attend work due to bad weather conditions. Including such a policy in your company handbook and ensuring all staff is aware of it will limit confusion and disagreements when such situations arise.
Emergency Basis of PAYE
Employee provides PPS Number:
Where an employee does not provide their PPS Number the higher rate of 40% tax applies to all earnings.
The Earned Income Tax Credit will be increased by €200 from €950 to €1,150.
The Home Carer Tax Credit will be increased from €1,100 to €1,200.
Medical card holders and individuals aged 70 years and older whose aggregate income does not exceed €60,000 will pay a maximum rate of 2%.
The emergency rate of USC remains at 8%.
The Minister outlined his intention to establish a working group in 2018 to carry out a review of the possible integration of PRSI and USC.
The National Training Levy of 0.7% which is currently collected as part of the employer PRSI contribution will increase to fund further and higher education, the increases are as follows:
There were no changes to general PRSI thresholds or employee PRSI announced in the Budget. However, as the National Training Levy is increasing and it is collected as part of the employer PRSI contribution, employer PRSI will increase as follows:
A 0% rate of BIK will apply to electric vehicles provided by an employer to an employee in 2018 which is available for private use. Electricity used by the employee in the workplace to charge the car will also be exempt from BIK.
PAYE Modernisation will be effective from 1st January 2019. Budget 2018 has allocated €50 million for a project to enhance Revenue's IT capacity and to ensure employer compliance.
The National Minimum Wage will increase from €9.25 to €9.55 per hour in respect of hours worked on or after 1st January 2018.
There will be a €5 increase in all weekly Social Welfare payments with effect from 26th March 2018. The maximum personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased to €198 per week. Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit will be increased to €240 per week.
Opinions and feedback from our customers matter to us. We love to hear comments and suggestions from users in order to improve the customer experience. Last month we conducted a customer survey to get an insight into what customers think about Thesaurus Payroll Manager and find out what new features our customers want.
The survey also looked at customer satisfaction rates, software performance and customer support. We were delighted to discover that Thesaurus Payroll Manager has a 99.6% customer satisfaction rate. Customers are also highly satisfied with our customer support team, with a satisfaction rate of 99.5%. Many customers agree that BrightPay saves them time (99.4%) and offers good value for money (99.6%).
Surprisingly, 43% of customers were not aware that Thesaurus Payroll Manager includes integration with One4all. This new feature was added last year and enables employers to seamlessly purchase One4all gift cards for employees.
The survey also looked at awareness of PAYE Modernisation. Nine out of ten accountants, bookkeepers and payroll bureaus said that they were aware of this new PAYE system, which will be effective from 1st January 2019. Meanwhile, one in five employers were unaware of this upcoming change. Thesaurus recently hosted a number of free PAYE Modernisation webinars, with a guest speaker from Revenue. The webinars incorporated everything you need to know about PAYE Modernisation. Watch the PAYE Modernisation training session on demand.
We also received a number of customer testimonials from the survey - all of which will be added to the Thesaurus website in due course. Some of our favourite testimonials received include:
As a thank you for taking part in the survey, we are giving away four €50 One4all vouchers. We are delighted to announce that the winners are:
The Thesaurus team will be in contact with the winners shortly.
We appreciate all the feedback received from this year’s survey and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part.
To raise awareness about forthcoming PAYE Modernisation in 2019, Revenue has commenced its awareness campaign by releasing an information leaflet “PAYE Modernisation – Are You Ready”.
This leaflet highlights the vital steps for new and existing employers to undertake in advance of 1st January 2019, in order to succeed in the imminent taxation system revolution.
The key idea behind PAYE Modernisation is that all communication between employer and Revenue will happen in “real time”. In order to effectively overcome the upcoming challenges, employers are being encouraged to focus on the quality and accuracy of the data they provide to Revenue.
In preparation for PAYE Modernisation, employers are advised to follow several easy steps to guarantee its overall success when it does come into effect in 2019:
At Thesaurus Software & BrightPay, we have always strived to deliver excellence in customer service and professional expertise in both Irish and UK payroll. We widely welcome the upcoming PAYE changes. As Paul Byrne, director of Thesaurus Software Ltd, stated during the Revenue's public consultation process held in December 2016:
“Whatever system is adopted, it is important that it represents a step forward for all parties. We are already committed to not charging our customers for the additional development involved. In addition, we are considering making a free version of our software available for micro employers, those with one or two employees.”
One of the most common calls I get on the support line is from a distressed customer who tells me they have lost their payroll information. Reasons for the loss of this information are varied and could be anything from a laptop being stolen, a virus attacking the computer, holding files to ransom or fire or water damage to the computers in the office.
The first question I’ll ask on a call of this type will be “do you have a backup?”. Honestly, I can’t tell you the number of people that say “No” to this. People are also mistakenly under the impression that we have a copy of their payroll data. Unfortunately this is never the case, we do not have access to the employer’s payroll information so this can add to the customer's stress levels as you can imagine!
We would always stress the importance of taking a backup of your payroll information. You would have your computers and office equipment insured against anything happening so why would you not do the same for your data? Think of your backup as your information’s insurance policy, after all it is almost irreplaceable or at the very least a major inconvenience to try and rebuild your payroll.
In a lot of cases, the call to our customer support line comes too late for us to be of any real assistance and the only advice we have to give is to start over and process payroll from the beginning again.
We never think anything like this will happen to us, but take it from me, it does, so go ahead and take out that insurance policy and backup before it is too late!
The following links will guide you to taking a backup in your software or book a demo of Thesaurus Connect our latest cloud add on that offers an automated online backup feature :
BrightPay UK: https://www.brightpay.co.uk/docs/17-18/backing-up-restoring-your-payroll/
BrightPay Ireland: https://www.brightpay.ie/docs/2017/backing-up-restoring-data-files/backing-up-your-payroll-data/
Thesaurus Payroll Manager: https://www.thesaurus.ie/docs/2017/processing-payroll/backup-data-files/
With better living standards and expanding economy, it is without doubt that Irish people are now living longer and we have a much healthier society. At the same time, we need to face the fact that with the Irish population inevitably getting older, there is the prospect that senior citizens will have to stay in employment long after they have passed retirement age. It is therefore absolutely vital to address the funding of the Irish pension system now if we want our pensioners to be well-protected in the future.
To tackle this issue, Brian Hayes MEP has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to start work on the introduction of an automatic enrolment pension system, whereby all Irish private sector employees would be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. As Mr Hayes stated, "a road map needs to be put in place for the introduction of an auto-enrolment system for all Irish businesses. The Cabinet needs to make it a priority to ensure that auto-enrolment is put into Irish Law by 2021. This is something that can be done through cross-party agreement."
In 2012, the UK introduced an automatic enrolment system which is working well and providing long-term sustainability. Automatic enrolment systems have also been introduced in Australia and New Zealand, and similar systems exist in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. These countries are recognised as world leaders in pensions.
Mr Hayes has suggested that Ireland should create its own system, whereby every employee will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, into which they should contribute at least 1 per cent of their monthly salary, to be matched by their employer.
Mr Hayes also added, “In Ireland we are far too dependent on our state pension system. We have a very low take up of workplace pension schemes. Less than 40% of Irish workers are covered by a workplace pension scheme. The best way to deal with both of these problems is through an auto-enrolment system which reduces dependency on the state system and ensures people have additional pension pots built up.”
A recent global study called the ‘Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index’ has stated that Ireland's pension system is good but has serious sustainability problems into the future. Elsewhere, Mercer's report found that Ireland will increasingly struggle to afford the provision of a guaranteed pension for everyone, if the current pension system isn’t addressed.
There can often be some confusion surrounding an employee's entitlement to pay for a public holiday particularly where the employee may be part-time or the public holiday falls on a day that the employee does not normally work.
It is also worth noting that not every bank holiday is a public holiday though in most cases they coincide. Good Friday is a bank holiday but it is not a public holiday. The following dates are the official public holidays in Ireland.
Employees who qualify for public holiday benefit will be entitled to one of the following:
So, who is entitled to a payment?
How to calculate the amount to be paid?
If the public holiday falls on a day which the employee would normally work:
If the public holiday falls on a day which the employee does not normally work:
Further information can be found at Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
Have you employees with 20 plus years of service? If so why not say thank you with a gift.
Revenue Commissioners offer tax relief on long service awards, which is considered to be at least 20 years of service. Tax relief on long service awards can be in addition to the small benefit exemption.
Employers can reward employees for long service with tangible articles with a value up to a maximum of €50 per year of service, starting at 20 years of service and every 5 years thereafter.
The award must be a tangible article e.g. a gold watch, it does not apply to awards made in cash.
Tax will not be charged provided:
• The cost to the employer does not exceed €50 per year of service
• The award is made in respect of service not less than 20 years
• No similar award has been made to the recipient within the previous 5 years
Where any of the conditions are not met PAYE, PRSI & USC must be applied on the full amount.
Details can be found on Revenue's website
Thesaurus Connect is our latest cloud add-on that works alongside Thesaurus Payroll Manager. Automatically store payroll information in the cloud and enable online access anywhere, anytime for payroll bureaus, employers and employees. You’ll be up and running in seconds.
Secure online Backup
Bureau / Client Dashboard
Employee Self Service Portal
HR & Annual Leave Management
Book a demo today to see how Thesaurus Connect can meet your payroll processing.