The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from September 1st 2020. Revenue are currently working through the finer details of the scheme. Below is some information to help you understand the scheme and to help prepare for it should you choose to avail of it.
The scheme provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the number of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll. The scheme is expected to operate until 31st March 2021.
Please note, gross pay includes notional pay and is before any deductions for pension, salary sacrifice etc
A 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy. This is expected to work as follows:
TWSS and EWSS will run in parallel from 1st July to 31st August. Employees already on TWSS must remain on TWSS until the end of August. Employers wishing to operate the scheme from July 1st i.e. for employees not eligible for TWSS, should process the payroll for these employees in the normal manner and Revenue will review these cases at a later date and refund the subsidy due.
Revenue plan to cater for this via myEnquiries. This will require employers to provide Revenue with the employee details etc. Payment should be made to employers in September.
A list of employers availing of EWSS will be published in January 2021 and April 2021 to www.revenue.ie.
We plan to release upgrades for Thesaurus Payroll Manager and BrightPay in the week commencing 24th August. Revenue are still fine tuning the details of the scheme and how it will interact with PAYE Modernisation. Therefore, unfortunately, we will be unable to release upgrades any earlier than this.
Join Thesaurus Software on 13th August for a free COVID-19 & Payroll webinar. In this webinar, we explore the key changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and what we know so far about the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. The EWSS will run in parallel to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from 31st July. Places are limited. Click here to book your place now.
After months of lockdown, many people are embracing the idea of staycations in a bid to save what’s left of the summer. For employers, however, managing employee leave can be far from relaxing if it is a manual process. Thesaurus Connect’s online leave management tools eliminate cumbersome people management tasks. It’s more than just payroll software, it’s a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution. The staycation trend should be a reason to be excited, not an admin nightmare.
Newly appointed Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the July Stimulus package worth €5.2 billion which included 50 new measures to help businesses and in turn help with the recovery of our economy. Here we have summarised the major employer-related measures introduced in this package.
Details of both the reconciliation process and the process for employers to follow when returning excess Wage Subsidy Scheme funds to Revenue will be published in due course. In the interim, to assist in their future reconciliation, employers should continue to retain records of subsidy payments made to employees, records of subsidy refunds and tax refunds received from Revenue and hold any excess of the subsidy payments received for offset against future subsidy payments or for future repayment to Revenue.
Are you an employer struggling to keep on top of everything you need to do before bringing your employees back to work? The government recently released the Return To Work Safely Protocol. This is a comprehensive 29 page document in which they outline the details of these expectations clearly. In order to ensure that your business is complying with the Protocol, you need to understand exactly what those expectations are and take the appropriate measures to meet them as best you can. The Health & Safety Authority (HSA) has been given powers to inspect businesses and their compliance under the Protocol.
As a result, many employers are feeling overwhelmed as they try to keep track of everything they need to do before bringing their employees back to the workplace. However, when you break it down and get organised, the task at hand isn’t so daunting, and we are here to help.
Whether you’re a business in the retail industry where employees must come into the workplace everyday, or in other industries where employees can largely work from home, all employers must prepare for “the new normal”. From reviewing and amending existing Health And Safety policies to electing a Lead Worker Representative, there’s a lot to do. Thankfully, we’ve put together this list so that you can make sure you’re complying with the Government’s Return To Work Safely Protocol.
COVID-19 Induction Training - The Protocol requires that you hold induction training with your employees. This training should be designed to share with your staff all of the changes that you’ve made to the physical workspace, as well as new rules and procedures for work. Depending on your business, these rules might include social distancing measures, the implementation of “one way” traffic zones on your premises, staggered break times, increased hygiene facilities, new communication processes for working from home etc. It should also include any changes you’re making to existing policies, the use of Pre-Return To Work Forms, the Lead Worker Representative and your COVID-19 Response Plan. Read on for more details on these steps.
Pre-Return To Work Forms - Pre-Return To Work Forms are required by the government as one of the most important steps a business should take before bringing employees back to work. The Return to Work form must include a list of prescribed questions, as set out in the HSA’s template provided here. The return to work form must be completed by employees at least 3 days before their return to the workplace. There are many other template checklists on the HSAs website, and these are a great way to help your employees prepare for their return to work, reassure them that you’re doing everything possible to make the workplace safe for them, and identify any concerns that they have which you could address.
Review Existing Policies - The Protocol also states that all existing policies should be reviewed and amended where relevant. One example of this is your Health And Safety Policy, which should now include a detailed section dedicated to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. It is also advisable that you include any changes you will make to how your business is approaching mental health. This is because many of your employees are likely to be experiencing varying levels of anxiety at present.
COVID-19 Response Plan - Every business must create a COVID-19 Response Plan. This plan should outline the following areas:• How the business will handle suspected and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff
Lead Worker Representative - Businesses should appoint a Lead Worker Representative. This person will liaise with management, relaying any concerns/frustrations/questions from staff, assisting in the sharing of information across the company, and representing employees as new policies and procedures are put in place. This is a vital role to ensure that both employer and employees work together in a collaborative effort to make the workplace safer for everyone.
Want to learn more about what your business could be doing to follow government guidelines? Check out our previous webinars, all of which you can watch on demand, in which we talk through all of the government advice and what it means for employers.
Newly appointed Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the July Stimulus package worth €5.2 billion which included 50 new measures to help businesses and in turn help with the recovery of our economy. The major measures introduced in this package are as follows:
Right now employers across the country are preparing to bring their employees back to work. This requires some adjustments as we all do our best to adapt to “the new normal”. For businesses where staff can work from home, this means facilitating remote working. And for businesses where staff must come into the workplace, it means finding ways to make the workplace as safe as possible to protect employees.
The good news is that, regardless of which of these two categories your business falls into, Thesaurus Connect can help make this transitional phase easier for both employers and employees. In particular, our document upload facility is of huge value when it comes to making the necessary preparations and keeping your employees updated on what changes they can expect when they come back to work.
Using Thesaurus Connect, employers can upload any kind of document to distribute to employees through a secure online portal. These documents can include everything from company policies, handbooks and news items to more sensitive information such as employee files.
When uploading each document to the portal, HR managers can choose which employees can view it. They may choose to make it available to all employees, in the case of a Healthy and Safety policy for example, or they may choose to make it only available to one individual employee or a team/department.
Once the document has been uploaded, employees will receive a notification letting them know. They can view and download it via their employee dashboard on a laptop or PC, or via their Thesaurus Connect employee app on a mobile or tablet device. The HR manager or employer will be able to see who has read the document on a time-stamped log.
While this facility offers significant benefits to employers at any time of the year regardless of the circumstances, it is even more beneficial now during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because under the new Return To Work Safely Protocol (a document released by the Government which outlines what businesses must do to prepare for returning to work), employers are obliged to create and share a significant amount of documentation with employees.
This documentation includes a COVID-19 Response Plan, detailing all points of relevance relating to COVID-19 in your workplace, and Pre-Return To Work Forms, which must be completed by employees at least 3 days before their return to the workplace.
The protocol also specifies that information and guidance should be provided by employers to workers, which should include:
By making all of these documents available on Thesaurus Connect, employees can access everything they need in one secure online hub and download anything they need straight to their smartphone. Employers can also send out reminders to employees who haven’t accessed a particular document, to make sure they do so before they come back to work.
In addition to the usefulness of Thesaurus Connect’s document upload facility in making preparations for returning to work, it has several benefits in more general terms.
1. It’s More Sustainable
It goes without saying that uploading documents to an online portal is significantly more sustainable than printing them all off and sending them out to each employee. This is a great way to add to your businesses efforts to “go green” where possible.
2. It’s Faster
It’s also much faster to upload your company documents in this way than to send them out via post. Plus, being able to track when your employees have opened, read or downloaded them means that you can ensure everyone is ready before returning to work.
3. It’s Trackable
The fact that employers can check who has read the uploaded documents is crucial to ensuring that your staff comply with new government guidelines on workplace safety during COVID-19. For example, if an employee was to ignore health and safety measures and claim that they didn’t know such measures existed, you could simply check whether or not they had read the document on your employer dashboard. This adds a level of protection for employers if any potential disputes arise.
4. It’s Customizable
Human resource managers will love the fact that they can choose who can and cannot view documents. That’s because not only does Thesaurus Connect allow them to store and share all company-wide information online, but it also provides them with a secure portal where they can store all employee-related files, without worrying about employees seeing them.
5. It’s Secure
Finally, Thesaurus Connect provides much needed security at a time when data protection has never been more vital. Infinitely safer than storing paper-based files and sensitive information, Connect’s cloud backup means that you don’t need to worry about losing data or having it fall into the wrong hands.
Join Thesaurus Software on Thursday 13th of August at 10.30am for a free COVID-19 & Payroll webinar. In this webinar, we explore some key changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, the payroll implications or rehiring employees and employee’s annual leave entitlements during COVID-19.
Register today for your free place, and if you can’t make it on the day, don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch the webinar on demand at any time that suits you.
Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children has announced that three additional weeks of parents leave has been proposed for Cabinet approval for parents of children born during the Covid-19 pandemic. This means parents leave will increase from two weeks to five weeks for new parents with children born after 1st November 2019. The rate of pay for this additional parents leave will be €245 per week. But this additional parents’ leave will not be available until it comes into effect in November 2020.
Every parent is currently entitled to two weeks’ parents leave in the first year when their child is born or adopted on or after 1st November 2019. Parental leave is different where a parent is entitled to take unpaid leave from work up to a current maximum of twenty two weeks to look after their children. This is changing to twenty six weeks on 1st September 2020.
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COVID-19 has presented countless challenges to every kind of business you can imagine. Whether you’re in retail or construction, banking or manufacturing, navigating the current circumstances while trying to keep your business afloat has been the cause of much confusion, frustration and anxiety. And one of the most commonly cited points of debate has been how the pandemic does or doesn’t affect annual leave for employees, and how employers should handle this moving forward.
These concerns aren’t unwarranted. There have been significant changes to how businesses can and in many cases, must, grant annual leave to employees. Understandably, many employers and managers are worried about denying employees their statutory rights and any potential circumstances arising from that.
So, with those concerns in mind, here’s everything you need to know about annual leave and COVID-19.
Yes, and no. Employees who have been laid-off as a result of the pandemic will continue to accrue public holidays as normal that occur during the first 13 weeks. However, they will not accrue annual leave during the period of lay-off. Employees working short-time will continue to accrue leave for the hours they work.
The annual leave that employees accrue up until the point of being laid off will remain intact and employers should not pay employees in lieu of this annual leave. Instead, it should be made available to the employee to take once they return to work.
Given the exceptional circumstances that we are currently 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.
Many employers are asking that their employees take annual leave while they can’t work during the lock-down period. However, some employees are resisting this and employers are wondering if they are within their rights to require that their staff take their holidays now.
Although employees have a statutory right to take any annual leave accrued, they can only take these holidays at a time that suits their employer. This rule is in place to avoid all employees taking their holidays at the one time, or during particularly busy periods (such as Christmas time for retail businesses). As such, employers can ask their staff to take their annual leave during lockdown as this ensures that they will be available to work when the business reopens.
However, it is advisable that employers try to be as accommodating as possible in this regard. Annual leave is typically used to rest and relax, often on holidays abroad. As this option isn’t available to employees who are cocooning/shielding, it could be prudent to allow those employees to take their holidays later in the year when they have more flexibility to enjoy them, where possible.
Yes. Given the extraordinary circumstances in which we all find ourselves now, employers should be as flexible and accommodating as possible when it comes to carrying over annual leave into 2021.
If your employee has holidays accrued, then he or she is entitled to take those holidays. However, as the employer you do have discretion when it comes to when your employees can take their holidays.
If, for example, you are in the retail industry and are expecting high levels of traffic in your premises once you reopen, then you can choose to have more staff than usual on the shop floor at a time in order to meet high customer demand. In this case, you can refuse holiday requests for this time as you have a sincere need to have all employees available for work.
At the end of the day, it is your choice when you allow your employees to take their holidays. While it’s important to be as accommodating as possible in order to maintain positive relationships with staff, if you need them to be available for work you are within your rights to ask them to take their holidays later in the year.
At Thesaurus Software we know how important it is to keep abreast of the most recent developments when it comes to COVID-19, especially as we navigate unchartered territories together. That’s why we’re holding regular webinars to share with you all news relating to Revenue updates, what employers need to know and how you can make sure you’re complying with best practices at all times.
Register for our upcoming webinar where we cover everything from important COVID-19 payroll updates to return to work government policies.
To receive email notification letting you know when we’re holding our next webinar, sign-up to our mailing list and ensure you don’t miss out on the latest updates for your business.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is available to employers who may need financial support from the state in order to continue paying their employees as a result of COVID-19. For many employers and payroll professionals, this has been a confusing time with Revenue updating their guidance and releasing more information on the scheme every few days. Here, we’ve stripped all of the information down to everything you need to know in terms of employees returning from maternity leave.
A recent change to rules regarding the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme takes into account employees who have returned or are due to return to work following a period of maternity leave, adoptive leave or related unpaid leave.
As per the scheme rules, if an employee was not paid in either January or February 2020, then typically, they do not qualify for the subsidy scheme. However, this latest change means that employees returning from maternity leave are now eligible and treated consistently with other employees who were on the payroll on the 29th of February.
This is a broadly welcomed change as it is only because of the personal circumstances relating to maternity and adoptive leave that resulted in these employees not being on the payroll in the first instance.
Employers who wish to avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme for employees returning from maternity leave will need to complete a simple form for each relevant employee, and this form is available for download via myEnquiries on ROS.
Revenue will check DEASP data to ensure the employee was in receipt of the maternity benefit. Revenue will then calculate the Net Weekly Pay for each relevant employee and will provide the information on an updated TWSS file. This information will ensure that the correct wage subsidy can be calculated and paid to the employee.
The subsidy will be backdated to the date of recommencement of employment or from the 26th of March 2020, whichever is the latest date and this will be processed in due course. However, if the employee was in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, no retrospection will apply as the employee was already in receipt of income support payments from DEASP.
These changes also apply to employees who were not on their employer’s payroll on 29 February 2020 and who were:
A more recent update confirmed that apprentices that were on training in February now qualify for the scheme. This is also done by the employer submitting the form in myEnquires which will then prompt an updated TWSS file.
Interested in finding out more about recent changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme? Register for our free webinar where we explore the key changes to the scheme, the payroll implications or rehiring employees and employee’s annual leave entitlements during COVID-19.
In the last number of weeks we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of businesses opening their doors and bringing their employees back to work. Employers need to make a real effort to ensure that they’re up to date with not only the latest public health advice from the government, but also the most recent changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme that were introduced by Revenue.
Maybe you’re a business in the retail or services industries and are having to make significant changes to premises and workflows to minimise the risk of COVID-19. Or perhaps you're a business in other industries where, although you’re back to work, all of your employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. No matter what industry your business is in, there are certain implications of rehiring employees that all employers will need to understand. That’s why we’ve broken them down for you.
Where an employee previously laid off has been re-hired, the employee will qualify for the 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 the 1st of February 2020 and the 30th of March 2020 in order to qualify.
If you’re planning to rehire employees as you reopen your business, you’ll need to take the following steps to ensure the employees are rehired correctly in line with Revenue requirements:
We know how important it is to keep on top of the most recent developments when it comes to COVID-19. That’s why we’re holding regular webinars to share with you all news relating to Revenue updates, what employers need to know and how you can make sure you’re complying with best practices at all times.
Click here to watch our previous webinars on-demand, where we cover everything from important COVID-19 payroll updates to return to work government advice and more.
To receive email notifications letting you know when we’re holding our next webinar, sign-up to our mailing list and ensure you don’t miss out on the latest updates for your business.
As the economy slowly recovers and many businesses reopen their doors, new changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme have been introduced. It’s essential that employers keep up-to-date with these changes so that they know best how to manage their payroll as they bring employees back to work.
Where an employee previously laid off has been re-hired, the employee will qualify for the Wage Subsidy Scheme if their DEASP claim is ceased. Once you've added the employee back onto the payroll, you need to request an RPN for this employee the day before processing the payroll. As well as retrieving the employee’s tax credits and cut-off points, this will also inform Revenue that the employee has been rehired. Revenue will therefore know to issue an amended TWSS instruction, which needs to be downloaded from ROS again and re-imported into the payroll software.
On the 9th of May 2020, the Government published the Return to Work Safely Protocol. This sets out a number of steps for employers and workers to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Here we have pulled out and summarised the key points that you need to be aware of moving forward.
The productivity and efficiency of your team are only as great as your remote working process, especially when it comes to payroll. With more employees continuing to operate from home, there are increased expectations of cloud access to payroll information.
Thesaurus Connect’s user-friendly employee app is available to download on Android and iOS devices and allows employees to:
During our most popular webinar, we looked at recent changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the payroll implications of rehiring employees. We also broke down the Return to Work Safely Protocol and summarised it into 7 key points that employers need to be aware of.