Illness benefit is liable to PAYE but not USC and PRSI. A lot of confusion arises on the employers’ role of the taxation of the benefit. If an employee is out sick for more than 6 days they can claim illness benefit from the Department of Social Protection (DSP). There are a couple of scenarios that will arise when this happens:
• You will receive a letter from the DSP stating that they are receiving a cheque for Illness Benefit and advising you on the amount liable to PAYE
• You must reduce the pay by the amount stated by the DSP in the weekly/monthly basic and input the Illness Benefit in the correct section on the payroll
• You haven’t had any correspondence with the employee, in this case you must assume they are in receipt of the benefit and tax them. The daily rate is €31.33 and the weekly 6 day benefit is €188.
• If the employee has opted for the employer to receive the cheque it still needs to be taxed in the Illness Benefit section on the payroll.
• If it is your company's policy to pay an employee while out sick you must reduce the weekly/monthly pay by the amount of Illness Benefit they are receiving.
• If is not your companies policy to pay an employee while out sick their pay must then be zeroised.
• If the employee returns and you’ve inputted the benefit into the system and they weren’t receiving the benefit , simply go to the illness benefit section and put a “–“ figure of the amount you deducted. This will refund any tax deducted, i.e. -€188