Our support lines are extremely busy as a result of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme being administered through payroll. Our Covid-19 help documentation will generally answer your query.

Also, please note that all of our staff are working from home and may be answering your call in a sometimes chaotic home environment. Please be patient with us.

The operational phase of the wage subsidy scheme, details of which were announced on 15th April, takes effect 4th May. The software has been upgraded to support this.


May 2020

27

Thesaurus Customer Update: June 2020

Welcome to BrightPay's June update. Our most important news this month include:


Important COVID-19 Payroll Updates

The government has announced the first steps to ease the coronavirus restrictions with a roadmap in place for lockdown measures to be slowly lifted. Understand how to adapt your payroll processes to accommodate for the schemes and subsequent updates.


Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme - Operational Phase

During the Operational Phase of the scheme, Revenue will calculate employees' previous average net weekly pay and their maximum personal subsidy amount and provide this information to employers. This will be in the form of a Revenue instruction (in CSV format), which employers must download from within their ROS account and import into their payroll software. Revenue are updating the TWSS files daily to include employees that have been rehired after 1 May 2020 and notified to Revenue in an RPN. Where relevant, the Revenue instruction file must be downloaded from ROS again and re-imported into the payroll software.


Return to Work Safely Protocol 

The Irish Government has introduced a Return to Work Safely Protocol for all businesses to follow. This introduces mandatory measures for organisations to take care of their people and safeguard their health and well-being. All workplaces must adapt their workplace HR policies, procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.


Rehiring Employees After Layoff - The Payroll Implications

Thousands of shops, businesses and construction sites have reopened as part of the first phase of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Many businesses are now able to re-engage their staff that had previously been placed on layoff. Can these employees qualify for the Wage Subsidy Scheme? How does this affect payroll?


Posted byKaren BennettinCoronavirusCustomer Update


May 2020

20

The payroll implications of rehiring employees after layoff

Thousands of shops, businesses and construction sites have reopened as part of the first phase of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. In terms of bringing staff back to work, employers should put in place a number of measures, as set out in The Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely Protocol’.

Many businesses are now able to re-engage their staff that had previously been placed on layoff. If an employee was laid off and their employment ceased as a result of COVID-19, and the employer now wishes to place this employee back on the payroll, the employee will qualify for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme if their DEASP claim is ceased. However, employees must have had a pay date in February and have been included in submissions between 1 February 2020 and 30 March 2020 under the same PPS number to qualify.

Rehired Employees & TWSS Files

During the operational phase of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, Revenue are providing all employers with details of the maximum subsidy and maximum top-up for all their employees. This Revenue instruction is in the form of a TWSS file, which was made available to employers on ROS from 4 May 2020.

Where an employee was rehired after 1 May 2020, they were not included in the initial TWSS file, and so J9 submissions for employees rehired after 1 May were processed but rejected for refunding.

From 18 May, the TWSS file now includes rehired employees that were included in an RPN between 2 May 2020 and 17 May 2020, provided the employee was on the employer's payroll on 29 February 2020 with the same PPS number.

From 21 May, Revenue will refresh the TWSS files daily to include rehired employees that have been notified to Revenue and to update the date on the file to reflect when it was refreshed. To be included in this refresh, employers must ensure that the rehired employees are on the payroll and an RPN has been received the day before the employer calculates and submits the first payroll payment to Revenue for the rehired employees. Revenue are currently developing a notification process that will inform employers when a refreshed TWSS file is available to download.

Additional Resource: We have created a template letter that employers can use for employees who are returning from layoff or short-time working.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


May 2020

18

Returning staff to work

The Government’s “Return to Work Safely Protocol” sets out a number of measures employers must consider as they reopen their businesses and bring staff back to work safely.

In terms of bringing staff back to work, employers should put in place a number of measures, including:

  1. Employees must be issued with a pre-return to work form to be completed at least 3 days prior to their return. In completing the form, employees will self-declare as being fit to return to work. If a worker answers Yes to any of the questions, they are strongly advised to seek medical advise before returning to work. A template questionnaire including all required questions can be downloaded here.

  2. Induction training should be provided for all workers. At a minimum it should include:
    1. up to-date advice and guidance on public health
    2. details on what a worker should do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19
    3. information on how the workplace is organised to address the risk from COVID-19
    4. an outline of the Covid-19 response plan
    5. clarify points of contact from the employer and the workers
    6. any other relevant sector specific advice 

  3. Following a risk assessment, employers should arrange for the necessary controls to be put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

  4. Temperature testing should be implemented in line with Public Health advice.

  5. Review and revise existing sick leave policies and amend as appropriate and in line with Covid-19 procedures. A revised sick leave policy is now available in Bright Contracts.

The full Return to Work Safely Protocol can be viewed here


May 2020

12

How to introduce Thesaurus Connect to clients

Introducing a new service to your payroll clients isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be. Yes, you know that it would be great for their business and maybe they do too, but it’s likely that they’ll still need some convincing to get them over the line and on board. So, here are 3 things to keep in mind when introducing Thesaurus Connect as a new payroll process.

What Does Your Client Need

Before you make your case to your clients, you need to be sure that you’re offering them the best service for their business. Every client is different in one way or another, and this means that a one-size-fits-all approach to their payroll just isn’t going to work. It’s also not going to give them confidence in your ability if they think you don’t understand their business, so doing your homework here will really pay off.

In order to get your client on board with your new payroll offering, it’s useful to think about what challenges they’re facing right now regarding payroll, and whether Thesaurus Connect is a right fit for them. Thesaurus Connect offers a whole range of additional HR benefits, so think about how these extras can save your clients time. Begin your introduction by showing your clients that they’re in safe hands because you fully understand their payroll challenges and you’ve got just the product to help them make their payroll processes even easier than it’s ever been before.

How Can You Provide Added Value

So now that you’ve established how Thesaurus Connect can modernise your client’s payroll process, it’s time to pitch the benefits to them. For most clients, this is a simple case of informing them about the HR features they may not have themselves including:

  • Client payroll portal
  • Payslip library
  • Employee payroll app
  • Annual leave management
  • HR document upload feature 
  • Automated payroll reports

You can also present Thesaurus Connect as a time saving opportunity by explaining to them that the cloud functionality frees them up to dedicate additional resources to other aspects of the business.

What’s The Bottom Line

Every client, whether big or small, is always trying to find new ways to cut costs, reduce administration and maximize profits (without cutting quality services). And in today’s climate, most businesses don’t have any choice in keeping their costs down as much as possible. So, one of the best ways you can sell your payroll services to your clients is by simply showing them just how cost effective it is.

Thesaurus Connect offers highly competitive pricing options where users are billed based on usage. The usage subscription model is based on the number of active employees in the billing month. The more clients you have the lower your cost per employee, which means you can pass the savings along to them. You can also find ways to make it even more tempting to your clients, such as offering them a free trial period, or a special deal if they refer a new client to your bureau. This is totally up to you, but don’t be afraid to be creative with how you cost this service.

Book a demo of Thesaurus Connect to see how you can help your clients with a new and improved payroll service offering.


May 2020

8

Thank You!

The Thesaurus Software team have received lots of words of praise and thanks over the past few weeks. Here's a selection of some of the wonderful comments that have been sent in. We would like to thank everyone for their positive feedback, your kind words are very much appreciated and encourage us to keep going during in these challenging times. 

Thank you. Stay Safe.


Apr 2020

30

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

If your employer cannot continue to pay you and has to lay you off during the pandemic, you can claim income support from the DEASP. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) 13th March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid at a flat rate of €350 per week for the duration of the pandemic emergency.

You can apply for the payment if you are aged between 18 and 66 and have lost your employment due to the coronavirus restrictions. Students, non-EEA nationals and part-time workers can apply for the payment. You can also apply if you were working casually and you became fully unemployed as a result of the pandemic.

If you have voluntarily taken time off work to look after your child because of school or childcare closures and you are no longer paid by your employer, you can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. 

You cannot claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, if you are continuing to get income from your employment or if you voluntarily left your employment, except to look after your children.

If an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been told to self-isolate by their GP, they should instead apply for Illness Benefit, which has also been increased to €350 a week in line with the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Join us for a free COVID-19 webinar where we discuss what you need to know about remote working, putting staff on payoff, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Places are limited - Click here to book your place now.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


Apr 2020

28

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme - Operational Phase

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme enters the operational phase on 4th May 2020.

In the operational phase, Revenue will provide all employers with details of the maximum subsidy and maximum top up for all employees currently on a J9 PRSI class and for any employees who might be placed on a J9 class during the remainder of the scheme.

This Revenue instruction will be in the form of a file (TWSS file) downloaded from ROS. It will not be an automatic download through the software but instead will require you to log in to your ROS account and download the file there. It will operate in much the same way as you would have downloaded P2C files in the past. The software will then import this file and update the subsidies of all J9 employees automatically.

This TWSS file will be available in ROS from 4th May and we will be releasing an upgrade to our software on the same day to cater for importing the TWSS file.

As the 4th May is a bank holiday, our support lines will be open on 5th May but we have plenty of on screen help and would ask that you only contact support if absolutely necessary.

This should be a one time download as the figures in the downloaded file will be based on payroll submissions made for January and February.

To ensure that you will be able to download the file, it is important that you know your ROS login certificate password and you should ensure that you have this to hand.

For your information, a preview of the relevant ROS screens can be viewed here.

Posted byPaul ByrneinCoronavirus


Apr 2020

27

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme - What you need to know

The Government has announced measures to provide financial support to employers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As part of these measures, Revenue is operating a Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme from 26th March 2020 and it is expected to last for 12 weeks.

The scheme applies to employers who may wish to top up employee payments and for those who are not in a position to do so. To qualify, employers:

  • must be experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19,
  • must be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a minimum of a 25% decline in turnover
  • must be unable to pay normal wages and normal outgoings fully, and
  • retain their employees on the payroll

The scheme replaces the previous Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme and if you have already registered for the COVID-19 Refund Scheme, you do not need to re-register for the new scheme. Employers that are not registered but wish to register for this scheme can do so through myEnquiries.

The Scheme is restricted to employees who were on the employer’s payroll as at 29 February 2020, and for whom a payroll submission has already been made to Revenue in the period from 1 February 2020 and 15 March 2020. Where employers didn't fulfil their PAYE reporting obligations for February 2020 by 15 March 2020, please click here for further information.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has been divided into two different phases, the first phase is the transitional phase which will run from 26th March to 3rd May, and the operational phase will be in place from 4th May.

Employee Payments

During the transitional phase, employers can pay 70% of the employee’s average weekly net pay as a non-taxable payment, and in turn receive a refund from Revenue for this (Net pay = Gross less Income Tax, USC & Employee PRSI). The period for calculating an employee's average weekly pay is January & February 2020, but if you are a BrightPay customer, this calculation is automated in BrightPay.

This payment is capped at:

  • €410 per week where the average net weekly pay is less than or equal to €586, or
  • €350 where the average net weekly pay is greater than €586 and less than or equal to €960

Employees with an average net weekly pay greater than €960 will be excluded from the subsidy scheme. From 16 April 2020, the wage subsidy is available to support employees where their pre-COVID salary was greater than €960 per week, and their salary has now fallen below €960, and this is subject to the tiered arrangements and tapering to ensure that the net pay does not exceed €960 per week.

Where the current gross pay, as reported in the payroll submission, represents a reduction from the average net weekly pay by:

  • less than 20%, no subsidy is payable
  • between 20% and 39%, a subsidy of up to €205 is payable
  • 40% or more, a subsidy of up to €350 is payable

These payments are liable to income tax; however, the subsidy is not taxable in real-time through the PAYE system during the period of the Subsidy scheme. Instead the employee will be liable for tax on the subsidy amount paid to them by their employer by way of review at the end of the year by Revenue.

Employers may top up this payment if they are in a position to do so. This top up amount, when added to the employee’s subsidy payment, cannot be greater than the employee's average net weekly pay. Any top-up payment made is taxable and USC-able, and the combined payment is to be processed under PRSI Class J9. If an employer tops up payments by more than the permitted amount, their subsidy will be tapered, so for every €1 extra paid to an employee, they will lose €1 on the subsidy.

During the transitional phase, employers must work out the payment that can be made to their employees i.e. the 70% tax free payment and the maximum top-up allowed. Revenue will automatically refund €410 per week per employee on the scheme as they won’t know what employees are entitled to. The refund from Revenue will, in general, be made to the employer within 2 working days after receipt of the payroll submission (PSR). At a later date, Revenue will perform a reconciliation and will look for repayment of any overpayments.

During the operational phase, from 4 May 2020, Revenue will inform employers how much they can pay tax free and the maximum top-up allowed. During this time, Revenue will refund the exact amount due as they will have instructed the employer how much can be paid. Click here to find out more about the operational phase.

Join us for a free COVID-19 webinar where we discuss what you need to know about remote working, putting staff on payoff, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Places are limited - Book your place now.

Thesaurus Payroll Manager | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


Mar 2020

31

Layoff and Short-time Working under Covid-19

Under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2014 a lay-off situation arises if an employer is unable to provide work to an employee for which they are employed to do. A short-time situation arises if an employee's weekly pay or hours is less than 50% of their normal weekly pay or hours due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done for which they are employed to do.

Continuity of Service

Continuity of service is not normally affected by lay-offs. For example, if an employee has been working for an employer for 10 years and is laid off temporarily, their 10 years’ service will remain intact.

Annual Leave

Employees working short-time will continue to accrue leave for the hours they work.

Employees on lay-off will continue to accrue public holidays that occur during the first 13 weeks. They will not accrue annual leave during the period of lay-off.

The annual leave that they accrued up until the point of being laid off will remain intact. Employers should not pay employees in lieu of this annual leave. Rather, it should be made available to the employee to take once they return to work. Given the exceptional circumstances that we are living in, it could well be the case that an employee genuinely cannot take their accrued annual leave this year. If this situation arises employers should try to be flexible in terms of allowing an employee to carry over leave into the next calendar year.

Redundancy

The law on claiming redundancy following a period of lay-off or short-time working had been changed during the Covid-19 emergency period. The emergency period is currently set as 13 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, however this may be extended.

Normally, employees who are laid off or put on short-time hours, you can claim redundancy from their employer after 4 weeks or more, or 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks.

Under the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19), employees who have been laid off during the emergency period, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, are not able to claim redundancy.


Mar 2020

19

Local Property Tax (LPT) – Payment Date Deferred

In a move designed to ease cash flow pressure on property owners amid the Coronavirus outbreak, Revenue has announced it is deferring the collection of Local Property Tax (LPT) for those paying by Annual Debit Instruction or Single Debit Authority payment.

These payments were due on 21st March 2020, the deduction date will change to 21st May 2020.

Property owners who have opted to make a payment by Annual Debit Instruction or Single Debit Authority do not need to advise Revenue or take any action. The payment date will automatically change to 21st May 2020.

Details can be found here.

Posted byAudrey MooneyinLPT