Jul 2021

2

Thesaurus Customer Update: July 2021

Welcome to Thesaurus Software's July update. Our most important news this month include:


Free Webinar: EWSS Changes & The Return to Work

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has been extended until 30 December 2021. Join our upcoming webinar where we discuss the extension of the EWSS, including the new enhanced eligibility rules and what you need to know about returning to the workplace. The webinar takes place on 27 July at 10.30 am and is free to attend for all employers and payroll bureaus.

Revenue EWSS guidance is expected to be updated next week.


Bureau Branding in Thesaurus Connect 

Bureaus have the ability to add their own firm branding to Thesaurus Connect, including the company name, company logo and contact details. The branding will be visible to clients on their self-service dashboard which will help enhance your client relationships. 


Multiple Users in Thesaurus Connect

Employers have the option to add as many users as they wish to their Thesaurus Connect account at no additional cost. Invite managers or an external accountant as a standard user and set up user permissions for different access levels. For example, you can set up a department manager to manage employee leave, with no access to the payroll. 


Automatic Enrolment Delayed until 2023  

The introduction of automatic enrolment in Ireland will be delayed until at least 2023. When introduced, this will mean by law, that employers will have to enrol their employees in a workplace pension scheme.

Find out more What is auto enrolment?

Let’s Get Topical – The Vaccine Policy 

One year on, the impact of COVID-19 on the employment landscape is hugely significant and has brought about many changes, especially the provisions of an employment contract. This is why Bright Contracts has been a saving grace for many employers as it regularly updates all contract and handbook content.

To get an insight into what Bright Contracts can do, you can watch our video and you can also download a trial version of the software first to get a look at the content and layout. 

Watch video Trial version

Thesaurus Software's Sustainability Journey 

Thesaurus Software opened a new purpose-built office in May 2021. The new office is at the top end of the spectrum in terms of energy efficiency and is a huge stride towards our ambitious target of becoming net zero by 2023. What is Net Zero? Click here to find out. 

 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


Jun 2021

30

EWSS Changes and Ireland’s Economic Recovery Plan

On the 1st of June 2021, the Government announced that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) would be extended until the 30th of December 2021 to support businesses as they continue to reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The rates below will continue for July, August and September 2021.

A decision on the subsidy rates that will apply for October 2021 onwards, is expected to be announced toward the end of August or early September.

The Government have set out an economic recovery plan for Ireland with measures to help businesses who have experienced significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19 with a minimum of a 30% decline in turnover or in customer orders. The period for this been extended from 6 months to 12 months under the new recovery plan. If you are unsure whether you are within the guidelines or need more clarity, please see further Revenue guidance.

Although the EWSS is a subsidy payable to employers only and will not impact employee payslips, the scheme must still be administered through the payroll. Employers must operate PAYE on all payments, including regular deduction of income tax, USC and employee PRSI from your employees’ pay. With Thesaurus Payroll Manager you can simply tick that 'you are registered for EWSS and this employee is being claimed for' when processing the payroll.

Remember, you must continue to review your eligibility status on the last day of every month to ensure you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. If you no longer qualify, you should de-register for EWSS with effect from the following day and untick the EWSS tickbox in the payroll software.

Want to find out more about the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme? Register for our next webinar on 27th July where our panel of payroll and HR experts will answer any questions that you may have.

 

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Jun 2021

1

Thesaurus Customer Update: June 2021

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


Protect your payroll data from ransomware attacks

With the recent ransomware attack on the HSE still disrupting Irish health services, the subject of ransomware is on all our minds. Taking backups of your data is so important in order to quickly restore data to get back up and running as soon as possible. All data in Thesaurus Connect is stored securely within Microsoft Azure data stores, access to which have been tightly restricted to a limited set of servers and IP addresses. 


Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme extended  

The EWSS continues to be a requirement for many, with 43% of small businesses still availing of the scheme. Yesterday it was announced that the scheme would be extended until 31 December 2021 with a modification to widen eligibility. The enhanced rates of support and the reduced rate of Employers’ PRSI will remain in place until at least September.  


How to manage the annual leave backlog as the country Reopens

A self-service system is the simplest way to manage your staff's annual leave – both from a HR and employee perspective. Give employees control to request annual leave, view leave taken and leave remaining all through an app on their smartphone or tablet


30 days until TWSS Reconciliation deadline  

Employers have until June 30th, 2021, to:

  • Accept the reconciliation calculation issued by Revenue
  • Make corrections to payslips if necessary, or
  • Make an enquiry through MyEnquiries
Revenue employer guidance

How Cloud innovation can help simplify the payroll process  

By introducing cloud innovation to your business, employers can work more efficiently by streamlining administrative processes and delegating manual tasks to employees. Download our free guide to find out more.

Get your free copy Book a demo
 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


May 2021

31

Ransomware: How to keep your data safe

Unfortunately, we have all become way too familiar with certain concepts over the course of the past year. Concepts such as R number, variants etc. With the recent ransomware attack on the HSE still disrupting Irish health services, the subject of ransomware is on all our minds.

One of the important lessons that we can take from ransomware is how we should have backups to quickly restore data to get back up and running as soon as possible, if data was lost after a breach.

If you use Thesaurus Connect alongside our payroll software, you can be assured that you already have this covered.

All data in Thesaurus Connect is stored securely within Microsoft Azure data stores, access to which have been tightly restricted to a limited set of servers and IP addresses. These data stores are replicated across multiple data centres to protect against a major data loss event impacting a particular data centre. Furthermore, the data itself is encrypted and multiple versions of your employer data are retained as a further safeguard. All traffic into and out of Thesaurus Connect is encrypted using SSL and we undergo regular penetration testing to ensure our public-facing applications are secure and resilient.

This should provide some comfort for you if you are already using Thesaurus Connect.

If the payroll data on your own device is compromised, it should be worthless as many of the key fields (e.g. PPSN, names, bank details) are already encrypted within the software.

If you do not use Thesaurus Connect, please ensure that you keep regular external backups of your data. You might even consider using Thesaurus Connect for this. View the pricing model for Thesaurus Connect where users are billed on a monthly subscription, based on usage where you only pay for what you use.

There are many other Thesaurus Connect benefits that we would be delighted to show you on a free 15-minute demo. Book now.

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Posted byHolly McHughinBrightPay Cloud


May 2021

26

Automatic enrolment delayed until 2023

The introduction of automatic enrolment in Ireland will be delayed until at least 2023. The scheme's purpose is for workers to supplement their state pension as a shocking 40% of private sectors workers rely solely on the state pension to fund their retirement. This will mean by law, that employers will have to enrol their employees in a workplace pension scheme. Auto enrolment was supposed to be introduced at the beginning of 2021. It’s now looking like it will be rolled out in 2023, but it could be extended yet again as the full details for auto enrolment are still being ironed out by the government.

How will auto enrolment work in Ireland?

During the phased roll out of auto enrolment, employees will be required to make initial minimum default pension contributions of 1.5% of their qualifying earnings, increasing by 1.5 percentage points every 3 years thereafter to a maximum contribution of 6% at the beginning of year 10.

Employers will be required to make matching (tax deductible) pension contributions on behalf of the employee at the specified contribution rate to help fund their retirement. This means that employees, employers and the State will each contribute to the member’s account.

What are the criteria?

Employees between the ages of 23 and 60 who earn €20,000 or more per annum (across all employments) will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme with no waiting period. All employees outside of these criteria may opt in themselves. Mandatory auto enrolment requirements won’t apply to any employee who is already a member of a pension scheme, provided the scheme meets certain minimum standards. Automatic enrolment will be an earnings-related workplace savings system where employees will retain the freedom to opt out if they wish.

Can I prepare for auto enrolment?

It's important that employers understand what they need to do and prepare early. Employers should educate themselves on auto enrolment and familiarise themselves with the terminology. Businesses may need to think about one-off costs to set up an auto enrolment pension scheme, as well as the ongoing cost of paying money into the scheme and managing the process.

If you are a new business and employing staff for the first time after auto enrolment is introduced, your legal duties for automatic enrolment will begin on the day your first member of staff starts work. There will be guidance and support available to ensure that businesses comply with auto enrolment.

Will my payroll software cater for this?

If you’re fortunate enough to use a good payroll software then this will handle and automate the administrative duties for you. With Thesaurus Payroll Manager, there will be no additional charge for any of the auto enrolment features. All of this will be included as part of your payroll software package, which also includes free customer phone and email support.

At Thesaurus Software, we already experienced the rollout of auto enrolment in the UK, with our UK payroll product, BrightPay. Auto enrolment phased in at the beginning of October 2012, starting with the larger UK companies. Every company in the UK enrolled employees into a pension scheme by 1st February 2018. BrightPay UK introduced auto enrolment features which enabled users to automate and simplify the entire process, so we are already experts in the field and well prepared for the rollout in Ireland.

The extension of auto enrolment beyond 2023 looks very possible as the target market for auto enrolment is younger, lower-paid workers in sectors such as Wholesale and Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services, Construction and Industry. These sectors have been worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding an extra cost to these employers and employees who have been living off the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) for the past year, to suddenly start paying into a pension fund, seems unfair and unlikely.

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinAuto Enrolment


May 2021

4

Thesaurus Customer Update: May 2021

Welcome to Thesaurus Software's May update. Our most important news this month include:


The TWSS reconciliation deadline is fast approaching

According to Revenue, just 28% of employers had accepted their TWSS reconciliation as of last week. By 30th June 2021, employers must have reviewed their reconciliation information, made any necessary corrections and accepted the reconciliation. If no action is taken by 30th June, Revenue will take it that you agree to the reconciliation balance. Any amount owing will be due and payable.  


Free webinar: Leaving Lockdown: The End of the Wage Subsidy Scheme?  

This webinar will discuss the current state of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). Will it be extended beyond its 30th June end date? Or perhaps a new scheme will be introduced to take its place. Plus, our payroll & HR experts will discuss the dos and don’ts of returning to the workplace.


How to avoid an annual leave backlog  

As restrictions are lifted in Ireland, managers will likely be in a situation where many employees will ask to take leave at the same time. It is important that you deal with requests in a way that is transparent and fair. Thesaurus Connect will show you who requested leave and when, and you can check the calendar prior to approving leave to make sure you have adequate staffing levels. 


Thesaurus Software celebrates Earth Day 2021 

At Thesaurus Software we are committed to a cleaner, greener future for all. We recently announced our very ambitious sustainability campaign to become net zero by 2023. Our Green Team celebrated Earth Day 2021 with a number of activities planned throughout the whole week.

Find out more Sustainability newsletter 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


Apr 2021

1

Thesaurus Customer Update: April 2021

Welcome to Thesaurus Software's April update. Our most important news this month include:


TWSS Reconciliation – What you Need to Know

Most employers who availed of the TWSS should now have received a ROS inbox message in relation to the reconciliation process. Find out what you need to know about the TWSS reconciliation process and ensure you meet the June 30th 2021 deadline to accept the reconciliation. 


The Vaccine & The New World of Work  

As vaccines roll out and employee’s return to the workplace employers are looking to form their vaccine policy. Join our employment law experts for a free webinar on April 28th where we will provide you with all the information you need to know about managing COVID-19 in the workplace including the vaccine policy.  


Good Friday – Bank Holiday or Public Holiday? 

As Easter approaches, we remind employers that Good Friday is NOT a statutory public holiday. Easter Monday, on the other hand, is a Public Holiday. In respect of each public holiday, an employee is entitled to a paid day off on the holiday, a paid day off within a month, an extra day’s annual leave, or an extra day’s pay, as decided by the employer.


It's Time to Automate Payroll Processes 

Learn how technology and automation turn daunting payroll tasks into a smooth and profitable process. Join our upcoming webinar on 6th April where we will look at how to address the challenge that most accountants face, over-servicing and under-charging. 


Greener Supply Chain with Thesaurus Software

Here at Thesaurus Software we take environmental responsibility very seriously and are committed to developing our business towards ecological sustainability at both a company and an individual level. Our new carbon efficient offices will open in 2021. Additionally, we are excited to announce our very ambitious sustainability campaign to become net zero by 2023. To achieve this, we have recently established a passionate Green Team to educate, promote and inspire sustainability to our employees and our loyal customers. Subscribe to Thesaurus Software’s sustainability newsletter to follow our journey.

Find out more
 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


Mar 2021

30

Does the TWSS Reconciliation affect me?

Are you wondering why you now owe Revenue money as a result of The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)?

For the first 6 weeks of the TWSS back in March 2020, during the transitional phase, Revenue refunded a flat rate of €410 per employee per pay period, regardless of the employees' earnings. In a lot of cases this €410 exceeded the subsidy that the employee was entitled to receive, and it was made very clear from the start that there would be a reconciliation to rectify this overpayment.

The scheme was designed to assist employers and employees impacted by COVID-19, and to encourage companies to keep their workers on the payroll. If you didn’t avail of the TWSS then you won’t have a TWSS reconciliation.

On Monday 22nd March 2021, Revenue advised that most employers can now access their TWSS reconciliation balances in Revenue’s Online Service (ROS). The reconciliation balance is based on the actual information provided to Revenue by the employer.

The TWSS reconciliation period opened on 22 March 2021 and employers have until the end of June to review and accept the reconciliation amounts. Revenue are strongly recommending that employers take the time to read & understand the guidance before accepting the reconciliation amounts.

Approximately 40% of the employers that availed of TWSS are balanced. Revenue have said they will not pursue companies that owe a balance of under €500 as they will be considered balanced.

BrightPay hosted a TWSS reconciliation webinar with guest speakers from Revenue on 24th March 2021. During the webinar, we discussed the reconciliation process and had a Questions & Answers session at the end. Watch the webinar on-demand now.

You can also click here to register for our next webinar, which takes place on 21st April 2021

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinPayroll SoftwareWages


Mar 2021

10

1 Year On – COVID-19 & Working from Home

It’s been exactly one year since Thesaurus Software sent all employees to work from home for 2 weeks as a mysterious flu-like disease called COVID-19 began spreading in Ireland. Those 2 weeks have turned in 52 weeks... and counting.

On March 10th 2020, employees were given access to all the tools and resources needed to work from home well in advance of the lockdown panic that came towards the end of March 2020. Thesaurus Software worked with employees to try and strike a balance between ensuring employees could be productive and focused when not in the office, whilst also juggling often hectic home lives as we all adjusted to lockdown. Keeping in-touch and keeping moral up was a key priority.

The company was in a fortunate position to be able to continue employing all members of staff during such a scary and uncertain time. Thesaurus Software’s COVID-19 response plan involved additional staffing and increased hours to assist customers. With payroll being an essential service and part of every business, the show had to go on!

Thesaurus Payroll Manager has been at the forefront for employers and accountants when it comes to COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Schemes and were the first payroll software provider to release software upgrades to cater for the schemes as changes were announced. Thesaurus Software’s overall response to COVID-19 was rated 98.7% in a recent customer survey, and this included payroll upgrades, webinars, online guidance and customer support.

BrightPay won the COVID-19 Hero Award (supplier) at the Accounting Excellence Awards that took place recently. BrightPay is created by Thesaurus Software, and although this was awarded to BrightPay, this is simply what our company is called in the UK - two different names, but the same company and the same 80+ employees behind this award.

Despite all the COVID-19 scheme changes, upgrades and webinars, the developers have been kept busy constantly improving the software and introducing new features. Thesaurus Payroll Manager’s optional add-on product, Thesaurus Connect now supports two-factor authentication sign in. This means you can add an extra layer of security to the employer login on your Thesaurus Connect account in case your password is stolen.

As remote and flexible working are now the new normal, Thesaurus Payroll Manager in tandem with Thesaurus Connect now allows for a completely seamless "working from home" experience where there are multiple individuals who work on or require access to the same employer files. Thesaurus Connect can help you prevent conflicting copies of the payroll, including an ‘other user check’ and a ‘version check’ when opening the payroll.

Let’s hope we all return to a somewhat normal life within the next year, and that I won’t be writing ‘working from home 104 weeks later’ this time next year. Thesaurus Software wishes you the very best as we enter Year 2 of living with COVID-19.

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Posted byHolly McHughinEvents


Jan 2021

26

Lockdown 3.0 - What have we learned?

Lockdown hasn't been easy for any of us - you could say it's been a bit of a 'coronacoaster'. COVID-19 has made us realise what’s important to us. Whether that be connecting more with family or re-connecting with old friends through the social platforms we are so grateful to have during this time. As we are currently in lockdown 3.0, let's look back on some of the key lessons learned as a payroll processor over the past year during this time of crisis.

Importance of Remote Access

Payroll is one of the core functions of running any business, and so it is something that needs to be completed on time and without errors. When working from home, your staff might not be able to access all the tools and documents that they would normally be able to access, especially if your systems are on-premises solutions and files and documents are physical hard copies.

Due to COVID-19 and having to work remotely from home, it is now a necessity to be able to access your payroll data from home. Your payroll software should easily facilitate remote working with additional user access. Thesaurus Payroll Manager can be installed on up to 10 PCs per licence key, and this means that payroll processing is possible by up to 10 users, or from 10 different locations. This is very handy for if you have a number of employees working from home, all needing access to the payroll software.

We have also introduced new multi-user features that work in conjunction with Thesaurus Connect, our optional cloud add-on, to improve the working from home experience. These new features include ‘version checking’ when opening an employer, and an ‘other users check’ when opening an employer. This new "working from home" integration gives you all the benefits of the cloud while utilising the power and responsiveness of your local device.

Importance of Reliable Software

The past year has been very frustrating for payroll processors. Not only had you the added workload of processing subsidy claims, but you also had to learn about the various schemes and ensure you kept up to date with the latest guidelines. That’s why it’s so important to use reliable payroll software from a reliable company.

We kept Thesaurus Payroll Manager up to date to cater for the relevant scheme changes, and we tried to automate as much as possible in the payroll software to make your life easier.

In a recent survey, we achieved a 98.7% rating for our overall handling of COVID-19 including customer support, payroll upgrades, COVID-19 webinars and online support. We also won a COVID-19 Hero Award, and this is because of our response to COVID-19 and how we have helped our customers throughout the past few months.

Importance of Cloud Backups

As most businesses are now working remotely for the foreseeable future, it leaves many businesses exposed to data loss. This is why cloud backups are so important.

If you only keep your payroll data on your desktop, you are at risk of losing the information. Have you thought about what would happen if your computer broke down or was hacked? How would you get your payroll data back quickly? Would employees still get paid if the information was lost?

Thesaurus Connect is our optional add-on that works alongside the payroll software. Thesaurus Connect provides a secure and user-friendly way to backup and restore your payroll data on your PC to and from the cloud. It’s simply an added layer of data protection to keep your payroll data safe so you never lose your payroll data again.

Importance of Automation

Whether you’re an employer processing payroll in-house for your business, or an accountant or bureau processing payroll for a number of clients, automation is key. How much time do you spend managing annual leave, answering employee leave balance enquiries, retrieving lost payslips, and communicating with employees in general? Now is the time to eliminate those admin-heavy tasks!

Self-service online portals are changing the way businesses interact and communicate with their employees, whilst providing the cloud functionality to get things done smarter and faster. Thesaurus Connect includes the ability to manage employee leave, communicate with employees, automate payslip distribution, run payroll reports and much more.

Book a demo of Thesaurus Connect today to discover more features that can help you streamline your payroll and HR processes.

 

Posted byHolly McHughinCoronavirusPayroll Software