A thank you note,
Well where should I start? When the whole country went into lockdown back in March, I was faced with the new task of working from home with my three young children.
So overnight I became a work/stay-at-home mom and a teacher all at once! It was definitely a huge challenge which was very stressful at times; trying to find a new routine that we could all settle into but we managed for the most part.
Working on the phones during this time has also been a huge task as everything about how payroll was processed had changed in both Ireland and the UK. All the different rules and processes that we had to learn about as all our customers were coming to us looking for answers was another hurdle in itself. We had a number of software upgrades that were released based on changes made by Revenue which also had to be tested before being released.
My children are aged 9, 6 and (just turned) 5 so the younger two don’t understand the concept of being quiet and would be hurtling through the house playing games with each other, making as much noise as they possibly could! And then my dogs would start barking wanting to join in on all the fun! Always the way when you want them to be quiet. But every single person I spoke to on the phones was so understanding and compassionate with me always telling me to tend to them first and not to worry.
All of our customers themselves were under an enormous amount of pressure because, let’s face it, they are the ones that have to process payroll at the end of the day and are the ones answerable to all their employees if something isn’t done right. Payroll during this pandemic was crucial and even though themselves were under pressure they always related back to my situation with understanding. So thank you, each and every one of you.
I also wanted to say another huge thank you to my managers and colleagues. Everyone has been so supportive of one another. We can no longer see each other to bounce queries off each other so we now communicate through Teams which has been a lifesaver. Anytime anyone mentioned that they were having a rough day or morning they would always tell you to go off the phones to make yourself a cuppa and come back when you’ve managed to breath - that they would man the phones and not to be worrying. This in itself was massive.
I just wholeheartedly wanted to say thank you to everyone for all your understanding and support as the last 8 months wouldn’t have been possible without it!
The National Minimum Wage is going to increase from €10.10 per hour to the new rate of €10.20 per hour and this comes into effect from 1st January 2021. This increase will affect around 122,000 employees, increasing their national minimum wage by 0.9%. An employee working 40 hours a week will see their gross wages increase by €4.00 per week.
Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys advised the minimum wage has increased by approximately 18% from the rate of €8.65 per hour in 2016 to the new rate of €10.20 per hour for 2021. She also assured that the PRSI thresholds would be changed in order to reflect the increase in the Minimum Wage.
Heather Humphreys stated that:
“I also want to ensure that the increase in the minimum wage does not result in employers having to pay a higher level of PRSI charge solely due to this increase. I will make regulations that will increase the employer PRSI threshold from €395 currently to €398 from 1st January 2021.”
The General Secretary of the retail union Mandate, Gerry Light, and the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Patricia King, resigned from their positions in the Low Pay Commission as they felt the 10c increase in the National Minimum Wage was not sufficient in meeting the needs of the minimum wage employees.
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We have teamed up with Revenue to bring you a free webinar where we discuss everything you need to know about TWSS reconciliation and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), including key changes to the scheme, eligibility criteria, processing subsidy claims, and operating the scheme in BrightPay. The webinar will also include a live Q&A session with experts from BrightPay and Revenue. Only 30 places remaining – book your place now.
In the ‘new normal’, employers and employees expect to access their payroll information in the cloud. 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. BrightPay Connect enables clients to submit employee hours, approve the payroll run, manage their employees’ leave, run payroll reports and much more.
We have some exciting new features coming in BrightPay 2021, including improved cloud functionality with BrightPay Connect. This new functionality gives you the best of both worlds – a desktop-based payroll software but with cloud access capabilities, improving the remote-working experience. Pre-order your BrightPay 2021 licence today!
Traditionally, using a mobile phone in the workplace could sometimes be seen as a complete no-no. But that’s rapidly changing thanks to the myriad of ways that employers are now using mobile technology to streamline their business and boost employee morale. But these apps can do more than make your business a nicer place to work for your employees. They can improve your payroll processes too.
As businesses look at creative ways to save jobs, many are moving to reduce their business overheads. Savvy businesses have already saved thousands by opting for a payroll provider that does not have an additional charge for PAYE Modernisation or customer support. BrightPay is one of the most competitively priced payroll software on the market with no contract ties. Making simple changes and investing in payroll solutions with integrated cloud access can save money, improve productivity and increase profits.
Here are the main points from Budget 2021, as delivered by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.
There is no change to tax rates for 2021, the standard rate will remain at 20% and the higher rate at 40%.
In addition, there is no change to Standard Rate Cut Off Points (SRCOPs).
The Earned Income Tax Credit will be increased by €150 from €1,500 to €1,650 to bring it in line with the PAYE tax credit.
The Dependent Relative Tax Credit will be increased by €175 from €70 to €245 to support families with caring responsibilities.
For 2021, USC will apply at the following rates for those earning in excess of €13,000
|Up to €12,012||0.5%|
Medical card holders and individuals aged 70 years and older whose aggregate income does not exceed €60,000 will pay a maximum rate of 2%.
The emergency rate of USC remains at 8%.
Non-PAYE income in excess of €100,000 is subject to USC at 11%.
The National Minimum Wage will increase by 10 cent from €10.10 to €10.20 per hour from January 1st 2021.
The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer PRSI will increase to €398 from €395, this is in line with the increase in the National Minimum Wage.
The age to qualify for the State Pension will remain at 66 for 2021, it was due to increase to 67.
The ‘waiting days’ for Illness Benefit will reduce from 6 days to 3 days for all new claims from the end of February 2021.
Parent’s Benefit has been increased by three weeks, this brings it up to five weeks. The leave must be taken during the first year following the birth of a child.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is due to continue until 31st March 2021, a wage subsidy scheme in some form is expected to be in place until the end of 2021.
The tax debt warehousing scheme will be expanded to include repayments of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) owed by employers.
A new scheme was introduced for businesses impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, it will provide support for businesses that have had to close because of Covid-19. The scheme is operational from October 13th until March 31st 2021.
The payment will be calculated as a percentage of the business’s average weekly VAT exclusive turnover in 2019 subject to a maximum payment of €5,000 per week. The first payments are expected to be made in Mid-November.
The 13.5% rate of VAT for the tourism and hospitality sector will be reduced to 9% from November 1st 2020, the reduced rate will remain in place until December 31st 2021.
For the latest payroll updates, don’t miss our next free webinar where we are joined by Revenue.
10.30am | 19th November
If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – also known as TWSS, was in operation since 26th March, and it ended on 31st August. The subsidy was processed through the payroll as a non-taxable addition, and instead, the subsidy will be taxable and USC-able via an end of year review by Revenue.
Employees will be taxed via a reduction in tax credits and cut off points from 2022. Revenue have confirmed that the liability will be collected over 4 years to avoid hardship. Employees will have the opportunity to pay it in full before then if they wish.
There are two stages to the TWSS Reconciliation process. For stage one, employers are required to report the actual subsidy that they paid to employees on each pay date.
BrightPay makes it easy to create these TWSS CSV Reconciliation files within the 'Employees' section of the payroll software. The CSV file can then be uploaded in the Employer Services section on ROS, as per Revenue's requirements. This file must be uploaded to ROS by 31st October. If you do not provide this data about payments to your employees, Revenue will recoup the total temporary wage subsidy paid and related interest charges.
Stage two of the reconciliation process is due to commence later this month, and during this stage, the total subsidy payable amounts will be compared against the subsidy amounts paid to the employer. Revenue will then determine the amount of TWSS, if any, owing back to Revenue from employers.
A Statement of Account will be sent to your ROS inbox. You will either be paid any additional amount due to you by Revenue or be required to repay any amount that you owe to Revenue.
In some cases, an employer may decide, or Revenue may instruct the employer, to repay to Revenue some or all the subsidy refund payment received from Revenue. Employers can repay excess subsidy values to Revenue via a new facility within ROS, this can be done under Payments & Refunds by selecting ’Submit a Payment’ and then TWSS (Employer). Customers should no longer use the Revenue bank account details previously provided for repayments of TWSS.
Only subsidy amounts should be repaid to Revenue through this method - Do not include any repayments in respect of income tax and USC through this RevPay facility. This should be done separately under PAYE EMP to ensure that the payment is correctly reflected on the employers PAYE EMP balance.
To ensure that the TWSS was operated correctly, Revenue are conducting a programme of compliance checks on all employers who availed of the scheme at any stage. Letters are being issued to employers and tax agents. Revenue were previously sending these to certain employers/agents via MyEnquiries. Since the start of October, Revenue have started sending them direct to the main ROS inbox, along with all other correspondence, so there’s a greater chance that they could be missed.
The letter will set out the steps that employers need to take to verify their compliance with the regulations of the TWSS.
Employers will need to confirm:
At this point employers are not expected to provide detailed documentation to prove that they have met the employer eligibility criteria but based on the summary provided, Revenue may look for more detailed information in some cases.
If you receive such a letter, please note that there is a 5-day time limit to respond to the Revenue’s request. It is essential that employers respond promptly as failure to do so will lead to immediate escalation. Therefore, it is important that employers keep an eye on both the ROS inbox and MyEnquiries or the letter.
This Revenue compliance check is not part of an audit or intervention. Instead, it is a request for information to provide assurance that the scheme was operated as intended by employers.
In addition, the compliance check programme will address any issues identified in respect of the operation of PAYE Modernisation by employers over 2019 and 2020. It will also provide an opportunity for employers to address any other outstanding tax issues that they may have.
For the latest payroll updates don’t miss our next free webinar, where we are joined by Revenue.
10.30am | 19th November
If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.
In the July Jobs Stimulus Plan, announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, changes were introduced to the existing Cycle to Work scheme. The Cycle to Work scheme is a government initiative that was introduced in January 2009 and allows the employer to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment for an employee for travelling to and from work. The cost of the bicycle and safety equipment can be deducted from the employee’s wages in the form of salary sacrifice. This salary sacrifice is set up as an allowable taxable deduction and reduces the gross salary for PAYE, USC and PRSI purposes by the amount of the salary sacrifice. The salary sacrifice cannot be more than 12 months and the employer and employee must agree how the deductions can be made.
The allowance for the cost of the normal bike and safety equipment was €1,000 and in July this was increased by €250 to €1,250. The allowance cost of an electric bike and safety equipment rose to €1,500 from the previous rate of €1,000. The existing period to avail of the scheme every five years is being reduced to every four years. The tax year that the bike is purchased counts as the first year under the scheme. The bike and safety equipment must be used as part of the journey the employee takes between their home and their normal place of work.
If an employer purchases a bike for an employee and does not require the employee to pay for it, the employee will be exempt from tax on the benefit on the cost of a normal bike up to €1,250 and on an electric bike for up to €1,500. If the cost exceeds these exemptions, the employee will have to pay PAYE, USC and PRSI on the balance of the cost of the bike.
An employer does not have to inform Revenue if they have employees availing of the Cycle to Work Scheme but records must be maintained by the employer for any purchases made under this scheme, such as invoices, which employee the purchase was for, payment amounts, etc.
New webinar: Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) - What you need to know
Join our new webinar, Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) - What you need to know, to learn about the latest government scheme and its impact on payroll. As the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has now ended, there is a new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme which will run until April 2021. Register now.
In this webinar, we discuss what you need to know about TWSS Reconciliation and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). We are delighted to be joined by guest panelist Sandra Clarke - President of the Irish Tax Institute & Partner at BCC Accountants. Register now.
As the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is now closed, to enable an accurate reconciliation between subsidy amounts refunded by Revenue and the amounts of subsidy that employers paid to their employees, Revenue requires employers to report the actual subsidy paid to employees, on each pay date. TWSS Reconciliation files can be created in BrightPay within Employees > Reconciliation CSV File. This file must be uploaded to ROS by 31st October.
When employees are working remotely, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult. However, in the wake of COVID-19, many employers have had to adapt and implement working from home and are now looking for clever solutions to overcome the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working.
If you are currently eligible for EWSS, you may be entitled to receive subsidies and PRSI credits in respect of employees paid by you during July and August. In order to make a claim, a CSV file must be uploaded on ROS before 14th October. BrightPay includes the ability to prepare the CSV file within the ‘Employees’ menu. It will also calculate the estimated claim value for you. Claims could be quite substantial, so we urge you to run the report and, if applicable, submit your claim as soon as possible.
After the success of our previous booked-out webinar, we have decided to add another date. Join us on 8th October where we discuss TWSS reconciliation, EWSS sweepback and processing wage subsidy claims. Guest panelist: Sandra Clarke - President of the Irish Tax Institute.
Only 10 places left - Book your place now to avoid disappointment!
The company-wide employee calendar on BrightPay Connect allows managers to see at a glance who is on leave and when, with different display options to suit your needs. The colour-coded calendar highlights the various types of leave, including annual leave, unpaid leave, sick leave and parenting leave, making staff scheduling and managing leave a walk-in-the-park.
As we approach the final few months of 2020, many employers are wondering if their current payroll software is the right fit for their business. Having the right provider for your business is crucial and can mean the difference between a laborious payroll process that you dread every pay period, and a quick and easy payroll that you hardly think about at all.
The key to making the right choice for your business is finding out what options are available, and then exploring whether or not they can make your life easier.
But finding the right one isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. There are so many payroll software providers today that sifting through them can be overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we have summarised the key reasons why you should switch to BrightPay today.
Book a demo today to discover more about BrightPay or read on to find out more.
But don’t just take our word for it. Have a read of our customer testimonials to see why 99% of customers would recommend BrightPay. Book a free online demo of BrightPay, and a member of our team can talk you through what your business’s payroll needs are, why your current provider isn’t meeting those needs, and explore whether or not BrightPay is the right choice for you and your business.
Automation is transforming how we do business in every industry across the globe. Technological advances now mean that tasks that used to take hours can now take just minutes, and nowhere is this more evident or useful than in the field of payroll and human resources.
Payroll administration first became computerised in the 1960’s and in the decades following, more and more businesses moved their payroll management to company PCs. HR too has become heavily dependent on automation with software streamlining every aspect of HR management from leave management to employee contracts - especially in businesses with large numbers of employees that simply couldn’t be managed manually anymore.
BrightPay Connect has used these advances in technology to incorporate automation in both payroll and HR. In this blog, we’ll break down exactly how Connect’s automation can help you to solve the most common problems faced by employees working in these areas today.
BrightPay Connect is a cloud add-on to our existing payroll software. Connect customers enjoy a substantial range of exclusive features not available with the payroll software alone. These features offer significant benefits to bureaus, employers, and they have knock on benefits for employees too. They include:
Although BrightPay’s payroll software uses a lot of automation to make processing payroll as streamlined as possible, it’s in Connect when this kind of technology really comes into its own. Our expert team of designers and developers have incorporated automation not just for the sake of it, but in a thoughtful way that aims to address many of the challenges that payroll and HR professionals face everyday. As such, these automations have undeniable, tangible benefits that will make you wonder why you didn’t sign up to BrightPay Connect sooner.
Here are some of the issues that payroll and HR professionals face everyday which can be solved thanks to BrightPay Connect’s clever automation.
1. Payslips Aren't Secure Enough
Still manually printing payslips and handing them out to your employees? Since GDPR came into effect just over two years ago, most businesses have moved to online distribution of payslips. BrightPay Connect increases your data protection compliance by allowing you to send employee payslips directly to the employee’s self-service app. Here they’ll be able to view or download them, and store them securely.
2. There Are Errors In The Payroll
Errors in the payroll are an unnecessary annoyance and can take precious time to correct. For bureaus, this often happens when a client has forgotten to update you on changes to employee hours, new starters or current leave information etc. This can all be avoided thanks to the “Client Entry And Approval” feature on BrightPay Connect.
Bureaus can send a draft of the payroll to their client before finalising. On receiving this draft directly to their online employer dashboard, employers can leave notes for the payroll processor to make amendments, inform them of a new employee and approve or reject the payroll. Bureaus will have a time-stamped log of any changes made by the client and approvals/rejections. This can offer protection if a client says the finalised payroll was inaccurate.
3. Employee Data Is Inaccurate Or Out Of Date
If your business has a large number of employees, then you’ll know how much time is spent on updating phone numbers, changing postal addresses etc. BrightPay Connect frees up this time by allowing employees to make such edits from their employee app, which HR managers can then approve or reject from their online Connect dashboard.
4. Revenue Payments Get Forgotten About Or Missed
A fundamental payroll task of any employer is to keep track of payments due to Revenue. These monthly payments can be easily forgotten about though, especially when you have a hundred other things to think about. BrightPay Connect ensures that you never forget again, as it tracks your next payment date and the amount owed. The payment date and payment amount are clearly displayed at the top of your online employer dashboard, and you can also receive automated emails as the payment date approaches to remind you to make the payment to Revenue.
5. Employee Leave Is Manual And Cumbersome
If your employees are still requesting leave manually then you’re going to love how BrightPay Connect’s automation makes this simpler. Employees can use the calendar on their employee app to request annual leave and this request automatically appears on the HR manager’s Connect dashboard. From here, the manager can check their own calendar which shows them who else is on leave for those dates, and then accept or reject the leave.
The dashboard also keeps a time-stamped record of leave requests and who approved/rejected them, which makes it easier to manage when multiple people are managing leave. This makes the entire process quicker, easier, more efficient and more streamlined for everyone involved.
BrightPay Connect comes with many more automation features and benefits that can address many of the challenges your payroll and HR managers are facing today. Why not book a free demo with our BrightPay Connect team and discover how you and your business can benefit from them today?
The Construction Workers' Pension Scheme (CWPS) is an industry-wide, occupational pension scheme providing pension solutions for employees in the construction and related industries, providing economic pension and protection benefits to both employees and employers.
It is designed to allow construction workers and their families retirement and low-cost protection cover. CWPS has over 30,000 active members employed by over 2,000 employers and is amongst the biggest occupational pension schemes in Ireland.
An increase in the rates will take effect on 1st October 2020 as agreed in the Sectoral Employment Order. The employer contribution total increases by 2.7% from €29.79 to €30.60 and the employee’s contribution total increases by 2.7% from €20.03 to €20.57.
A breakdown of the new rates are below:
|With effect from 1/10/2020|
|Pension Contribution Employer||€28.09|
|Pension Contribution Employee||€18.73|
|Life Assurance Contribution Employer||€1.17|
|Life Assurance Contribution Employee||€1.17|
|Sick Pay Contribution Employer||€1.34|
|Sick Pay Contribution Employee||€0.67|
|Total Employer Rate||€30.60|
|Total Employee Rate||€20.57|
There are no changes for 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.