Sep 2019


CWPS rates to increase on 1st October 2019

The Construction Workers' Pension Scheme (CWPS) is a multi-employer occupational pension scheme providing pensions solutions for workers in the construction and related industries, at a low cost to both employees and employers. It is designed to allow construction workers and their families retirement and low cost protection cover.

The pension rates for CWPS agreed in the Sectoral Employment Order will increase from 1st October 2019. The employer contribution total will increase by 78 cents and the employee’s contribution total will increase by 53 cents.

The new rates are as follows:

  Employer Contribution Employee Contribution Total
  Pension Contribution €27.35 €18.24 €45.59
  Death in Service Contribution €1.14 €1.14 €2.28
  Sick Pay Contribution €1.30 €0.65 €1.95
  Totals €29.79 €20.03 €49.82

The additional voluntary extras of Construction Workers Health Trust member contribution of 1.00 and the Benevolent Funds of employer contribution of 0.19 and member contribution of 0.50 will remain the same as the current rates.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software 

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll

Sep 2019


Schools are back! Using Parental Leave to help your staff get a good work-life balance

Many employees find it tough to balance their work responsibilities with the demands placed on them in their home and family lives. This is never more obvious than with the return of schools this week – school drop offs and collections, preparing healthy lunches for fussy little eaters, extra-curricular activities to attend, homework battles and an increase in time spent stuck in traffic are all too familiar occurrences come September….

Employers can support their staff by helping them adjust to their new daily routine through flexible working options and/or reduced hours working arrangements. Employers, however, will need to manage these requests carefully, ensuring there are no substantially adverse effects on their business. Very recently, there has been a number of changes made to Parental Leave that employers should be aware of.

So, what’s new with Parental Leave?

  • Parental Leave entitlement has increased from 18 to 22 weeks. This is going to further increase again on 1st September 2020 to 26 weeks. Employers should be aware that, for their employees who have already taken their current entitlement, they will be able to take the additional 8 weeks of leave - provided they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • The leave can be taken at any time prior to the child turning 12 years old. This was previously set at 8 years old. So any leave not taken previously, due to the fact that the child in question reached the previous limit of 8 years, will now become available for employees to use again.

What should I do?

As an employer, you will now need to update your Parental Leave policies to reflect these new changes (If you use our Bright Contracts package, we have updated these for you already in the Handbook section!). You need to put in place a process for keeping Parental Leave records – these need to be retained for 12 years.

You should review every application for Parental Leave very carefully – weighing up the impact of this request for both the staff member and your business. Parental Leave can be taken as either a block period or as single days. Staff must give you 6 weeks notice of any leave they wish to take. You can postpone a Parental Leave application request, based on business needs, for up to 6 months.

What are the benefits of being seen as a flexible employer?

  • You can attract top talent as you will create a culture that respects and recognises that your staff have priorities outside of work.
  • Improved retention of staff and less staff turnover as they are better able to manage their time. They will not feel under as much pressure or that it is not sustainable for them to keep working with you.
  • Improved employee well-being – their emotional and mental health can benefit by being able to successfully multi-task family and work duties.
  • Improved employee morale and loyalty to their employer.
  • Improved diversity. As childcare still falls mainly on women, female talent is more likely to be retained as you have made facilities available to them to enable them to keep working.

There is no doubt that employers are increasingly supporting their staff by helping them to balance the demands of working versus homelife. In this current climate of skills shortages and demands for talented, committed staff, it is hoped that progressive steps such as flexible working options will enable parents, juggling these conflicting demands, to remain in the workplace and feel supported by their employer when doing so.

Book a demo of Bright Contracts today to find out how you can keep your Parental Leave policies updated and compliant with employment legislation.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software

Posted byNicola SheridaninParental Leave

Aug 2019


More flexibility, more time: Payroll as a cloud service

Payroll processing has never exactly been the belle of the ball. Businesses disliked it because it’s onerous, while accountants loathe it because payroll has proven difficult to monetise. Not to mention, the work is complex and there are bountiful opportunities to mess it up.

But now, payroll is finally having a moment. Cloud portals have altered the landscape, unlocking new productivity and profits for businesses and accountants. Moving beyond the confines of the desktop and connecting payroll software to the cloud opens all sorts of new, exciting prospects.

The benefits of cloud allows constant and iterative improvements because software companies can offer added benefits and additional layers of access via the web, rather than through more traditional, unsecured methods like sending attachments via email. This formula for progress holds true for cloud payroll accessibility. Synching your payroll data to the cloud enables new features, fully supported by a remote access infrastructure for your clients that’s always improving the payroll process.

As for your clients and their employees, a cloud portal can act as an in-house HR system, streamlining many internal payroll administrative duties. For employees, there is just one login to view employee documents and a company noticeboard. Employers can upload documents such as employment contracts, staff handbooks, privacy policies, training manuals. The employer can decide whether the employee should have access to view the document or not, using it as a central location for everything to do with each individual employee.

Cloud integration updates your information in real time which is easily accessible at any time via any device with internet access. Whether it’s just checking something after hours, or enabling flexible online access to payroll information creates freedom. Cloud payroll portals are making it easier and cheaper to provide payroll services at scale for all of your clients. Drudge work is automated, it’s more collaborative, and a simple, intuitive online interface speeds up your work.

But the potential profits from online payroll platforms aren’t just about payroll itself. Time is money, as the old saying goes. Less work filling in boxes means more time spent on lucrative work such as advisory services, consulting and new business development. All throughout the accounting profession, we’ve seen that when firms cut the time spent on traditional services like bookkeeping, tax preparation and now payroll, they can then take on additional clients and projects, using the same number of staff.

More capacity, more time, more flexibility, more collaboration, more profits: the benefits of cloud automation and remote self-service portals will seep into every corner of your practice.

Book a Thesaurus Connect demo today to increase your profits from your payroll service.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud

Aug 2019


Upcoming Webinars - Brought to you by Thesaurus Software

Thesaurus Software is hosting a wide range of webinars over the coming months. All webinars are CPD accredited and free to attend. Places are limited - make sure to book your place now to avoid disappointment.

PAYE Modernisation Webinars | Guest Speaker: Revenue

Thesaurus Software has teamed up with Revenue where we will look back on PAYE Modernisation in 2019 and decide if the new real time payroll reporting system has been a success. The PAYE Modernisation webinar series features four webinars for employers and four webinars for payroll bureaus and accountants, starting with PAYE Modernisation: One year on - was it a success? which takes place at the end of September.

Employer webinars Bureau webinars

Payroll & Cloud Platforms

Cloud technology is here and it can easily compliment any SME workplace. This webinar busts the myth that employee related technology is only for the big employer. During our webinar on the 17th of September - Payroll and cloud platforms: What employers need to know (and why employees love it) - we take a look at exactly how you can manage your employee administration with cloud technology. Huge cost and time savings can be made by using the right technology.

Register for webinar More dates

Employment Law Webinars

Business Owners and Managers are all too aware of the ongoing challenges and constant changes in the area of Employment Law and HR Best Practice. This webinar will offer the opportunity to keep abreast of change and plan for the future, including terms and conditions of employment, gender pay reporting, parental leave and WRC 2019 targets. Join us on the 12th of September for 2019 HR & Employment Law Landscape to make sure you’re kept up-to-date with employment law.

Register for webinar More dates

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to our newsletter today to find out about more upcoming webinars, events, special offers, legislation changes, payroll related news and other group products. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime.

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byRachel HynesinEvents

Aug 2019


Save the trees: Instant Access to Payroll Data without any paper trail

We don’t get paychecks anymore, do we? The concept has been banished to TV shows set in the 1960s, where we see a down-on-their-luck salesman contemplate their paper cheque with sad resignation.

Outside of these cultural portrayals, we’ve all moved along to bank transfers. And yet, there’s still one hangover from the era of manual, paper led payroll: the payslip.

Many of us, despite receiving our pay electronically, will receive a paper payslip detailing precisely how much we’ve earned and the taxes we’ve paid. Often these slips will clutter on the employee’s desk, unsecured and aimless.

But how much can you innovate with the old fashioned payslip, anyhow? Quite a bit, actually. This resource heavy, old school process can be taken entirely online. All employee payslips can be securely stored and instantly accessible on Thesaurus Connect.

From here, individual employees can also access their HR documents such as their contract of employment through a personal self-service portal as and when they need it. That’s less legwork for you and a simple, well-organised process for the employee.

This can completely replace the more labour intensive process you have now. Payslips can be set up by the user to be automatically available on Thesaurus Connect with an email notification to employees, eliminating the need to email them or print it out to hand out, one-by-one manually.

But, of course, employers should still have the choice to do it their way. The business can always email, download or print payslips from Thesaurus Payroll Manager. Whichever way the client would prefer is fine, but it remains seamless for you, the accountant.

It’s all about what’s most comfortable. With 24/7 access to employee payslips and other payroll reports, missing payslips and confusion will be consigned to the past. No more manual processes, no more unnecessary legwork -- just the information when you need it, in one location, accessible from anywhere for the accountant, employer and employee.

And with Thesaurus Connect, the self-service process empowers the employee beyond payslips. The self-service portal is a powerful, multi-purpose cloud tool.

Employees can access their own personal leave calendar, request annual leave, view and change their contact information, access payslips and other payroll and employment-related documents. Clients can even give managers access to approve leave for their department and restrict access the other sensitive payroll information such as employee salaries. It’s payroll software with integrated cloud automation that’s about so much more than just pay.

Book a Thesaurus Connect demo today to see just how much time cloud automation and integration can save you.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Software

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud

Jul 2019


Using intelligent automation to streamline the payroll process

There’s a part in Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22 where the character asks a military officer: “What do you do when it rains?" The captain answers the question frankly. "I get wet.” The captain’s resignation and simple acceptance echo the accountant’s attitude to admin. What else is there to do when processing payroll? Same as getting wet in the rain, payroll processing comes assigned with a burdensome bureaucracy.

Or does it? There are a lot of boxes to be ticked in the accounting profession. There are laws, statutes, regulations, each adding another bit of work to your already busy schedule. Indeed, the profession will never be without its share of bureaucracy and admin. But payroll doesn’t have to mean legwork and elbow grease. By using intelligent automation and the right system, you can cut out many of the repetitive (and plain tedious aspects) of payroll processing. Repetition becomes a thing of the past, too.

With Thesaurus Connect it couldn’t be simpler. Payroll reports are automatically synced to the online employer dashboard where users can log in and view payroll information from anywhere. This includes payslips, periodic reporting, P60s, and P45s.

But perhaps for payroll bureaus the most critical way you can reduce the admin burden is by devolving it, so it’s not all on you. Using the password protected self-service portal, your clients and their employees can login online to view their payroll data. For routine tasks, clients can help themselves. The more mundane aspects of payroll processing hum along in the background while you focus on the important stuff. All while maintaining complete control over the entire process.

So what do you do when it rains? You don’t have to get wet - and if you’re a payroll bureau, there’s a more straightforward, smarter way ahead. Admin doesn’t need to be a by-word for payroll, with Thesaurus Connect it can be a profitable, low touch service.

Book a demo today to find out how Thesaurus Connect can streamline your payroll processing.

Posted byKaren BennettinBrightPay Cloud

Jul 2019


Save Time with Thesaurus Connect

Time is one of the most valuable assets to any company. We all get overwhelmed with our workload from time to time, Thesaurus Connect can permanently minimise this happening to you. It’s always nice to tick off your to-do list one by one with no interruption. Thesaurus Connect can help you achieve this and save you TIME.

Traceability. Everything on Thesaurus Connect can be traced, from annual leave requests to documents that have been viewed. All holiday requests approved or rejected, are listed on the dashboard of your Thesaurus Connect. This also includes sick days and unpaid leave for all employees. Any documents that are uploaded by the employer can be viewed by the relevant employee. The activity log allows the employer to view who has read each document with a time stamp. Employees can request to change any personal information on Thesaurus Connect, the new information is logged on the notification section which makes it quick and easy for the employer to view and change. All the above contributes to the employer being completely GDPR compliant.

Independence. Thesaurus Connect gives the employee independence when it comes to managing their personal information and payslips. They have secure access to their own payslips from any location with the use of the free App. They can download and print recent and past payslips without having to request them from the Payroll department. They also have secure access to their own personal information and can request to change any personal details on file at any time. Every employee can view their own profile from work or in the comfort of their own home.

Mobility. Thesaurus Connect give both the employer and employee the option of mobility. Both the employer and employee dashboard can be accessed from any PC or desktop once the username and password are entered correctly. It also allows the back-up to be restored on any PC once Thesaurus Payroll Manager is installed, this feature comes in particularly handy if the PC or laptop the employer has previously been working on crashes or is damaged. If for any reason an employee needs to apply for annual leave or access any payslip, this can all be done from a remote location once logged onto their own Thesaurus Connect.

Efficient. Thesaurus Connect is extremely efficient. It allows the employer to carry out everyday tasks with ease. Once the employer data is synchronised from Thesaurus Payroll Manager it immediately appears on the Thesaurus Connect dashboard. Once the employer has finalised the payroll for that pay period it can be synchronised and backed-up immediately. It also streamlines the new employee process allowing the new employee to view their Contract of Employment and Employee handbook online while also eliminating the old-style paperwork usually passed from employer to employee.

Watch our short employer video below which explains how Thesaurus Connect can streamline the workload in the payroll department. Move into the cloud where everything is completed with ease.


Jul 2019


Auto Enrolment: More payroll changes on the way

The government has announced major changes to the pensions system in Ireland, including State, private and public service pensions, which aims to address Ireland’s significant retirement savings gap.

The Taoiseach confirmed that the Government's key goals are to "create a fairer and simpler contributory pension system where a person's pension outcome reflects their social insurance contributions, and in parallel, create a new and necessary culture of personal retirement saving in Ireland".

From 2020, a new State pension system will come into place based on a ‘total contributions approach’ (TCA) where a person’s lifetime contribution will more closely match the benefit they receive. Under TCA, a person's contributory pension will be proportionate to the contributions they make, with fair regard for periods of child rearing, full time caring, and periods in receipt of social protection payments.

Although the State pension will be reformed and will remain at the core of the pension system in Ireland, a new retirement savings system is still needed to supplement the State pension.

Minister Regina Doherty said: “It is increasingly evident that most Irish workers are not saving enough, or indeed at all, for their retirement years. Many people will be faced with a serious reduction in their living standards when they retire – a fall in income they clearly do not want.”

This new 'Automatic Enrolment' retirement savings system will be introduced from 2022 to support and encourage personal savings provision. It is intended that employee savings in this scheme will be supported by employer and State contributions.

Under this system, workers will be ‘automatically enrolled’ into a workplace pension scheme with the option to opt-out, should they choose to do so. However, looking at the international experience of similar systems, for example in the UK, once enrolled, workers tend to remain in the scheme.

Automatic enrolment is a natural extension of the payroll process, making more sense for employers to process the majority of these duties within their payroll software. At BrightPay, we have experienced the rollout of auto enrolment in the UK first hand, where we introduced auto enrolment features which enabled users to automate and simplify the entire process.

Thesaurus Payroll Manager will be able to seamlessly cater for Auto Enrolment without any additional costs to the software, and also includes free phone and email support.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Manager

Posted byRachel HynesinAuto Enrolment

Jun 2019


PAYE Modernisation: The good, the bad and the ugly

Latest Revenue figures for PAYE Modernisation show that 161,000 employers have successfully submitted over 2 million payroll submissions in respect of over 2.6 million employees.

Although the new system has proved very successful overall, the first four months of the new real time payroll reporting system also faced some recurring issues with payroll submissions. Here are the 10 most common errors seen by Revenue:

  1. Employers mistakenly sending the payroll data to Revenue more than once.
  2. Employers incorrectly creating duplicate employments for the same employee.
  3. Payroll submissions, or parts of payroll submissions, failing the validation process.
  4. Employers ceasing employment for employees in error by incorrectly including cessation dates in payroll submissions.
  5. Employers failing to apply the most up-to-date Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) when running payroll.
  6. Employees being taxed on the emergency tax basis where an RPN is available.
  7. Incorrect operation of emergency tax e.g. employee reported with emergency tax, but no tax deducted by the employer.
  8. ‘Gross Pay’ shown as less than ‘Pay for Income Tax’ and/or ‘Pay for USC’.
  9. No USC deducted where the employee is not USC exempt, and similarly, USC deducted where the employee is USC exempt.
  10. Employers paying their tax liability twice in error e.g. by setting up both a ROS Debit Instruction and Variable Direct Debit for the same payment period.

Where errors arise, employers should immediately rectify them to ensure that they are not included in future payrolls. Early action also reduces the possibility of a Revenue intervention. Revenue will continue to assist any employer who is experiencing genuine difficulty in complying with the new PAYE requirements. However, it is important to remember that employers who fail to engage with Revenue or who persistently breach the PAYE Regulations are liable to a €4,000 penalty per offence.

It is in every employer’s interest to ensure that the data submitted to Revenue is accurate and in line with the employee’s payslip record, especially now that employees have access to their pay and tax details through their myAccount. Any discrepancies between payroll details on an employee’s payslip and those reported to Revenue could result in employees seeking clarification from their employer.

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byRachel HynesinPAYE Modernisation

Jun 2019


5 ways Connect can help your business

In case you haven’t already heard, Thesaurus Connect is our exciting new add-on to Thesaurus Payroll Manager that introduces powerful new features such as a free self-service app for employees and a web based self-service dashboard for employers. It also includes a secure and user-friendly way to backup and restore your payroll data on your PC to and from the cloud.

  1. Security – Never lose your payroll data again. With Connect, you can safely and securely backup your payroll data to the cloud. Thesaurus Connect maintains a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC at any time. You can restore a backup onto your existing PC, or you can simply download a backup onto a new computer. 

  2. Productivity – Save time and man hours. Connect takes the hassle out of managing your HR duties. Track, approve and analyse your Leave Calendar anytime, anywhere. Issue, track & store employee documents and distribute them at the click of a mouse. The employee app allows your employees to view and download their own payslips, request leave and update their personal details without taking up their manager’s time. 

  3. Connectivity – Stay connected 24/7. Have instant access to all your vital payroll & HR information. You can access your employees annual leave calendars, upload documents for your employees, see your Revenue reports and much, much more. 

  4. Compliance – Don’t risk a €5,000 fine or a jail sentence! With the advent of GDPR, PAYE Modernisation and the recent changes in employment contract law, Connect is the best tool to help you stay compliant and up to date. 

  5. Peace of Mind – Thesaurus Connect is hosted by Microsoft Azure. It's fully encrypted, totally secure and completely GDPR compliant

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byJen McBrideinAnnual LeaveBrightPay Cloud