A new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme has been introduced, providing a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
Both the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will run in parallel from 1 July 2020 until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020. The EWSS will replace the TWSS from 1st September 2020. It is expected to continue until 31 March 2021.
Non-TWSS employers, i.e. those who have not previously availed of TWSS, will only be eligible to apply for the EWSS. EWSS support will be backdated to 1 July for eligible employers who did not qualify for the TWSS.
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 in September.
Employers who have availed of the TWSS will still be able to rehire eligible employees and continue to operate the TWSS until 31 August 2020. Employees already on TWSS must remain on TWSS until the end of August. From 31 July, TWSS employers can claim for non-TWSS employees under the new EWSS, for example, new hires.
While the concepts behind the two schemes are similar, there are a number of differences between them.
The EWSS will require employers to reassess their eligibility for wage support. To be eligible for the EWSS, employers must be able to demonstrate that their turnover or customer orders have suffered at least a 30% reduction as a result of Covid-19 between 1st July and 31st December 2020, compared to the same period last year.
There is one exception to this - Registered childcare providers can avail of the EWSS without the requirement to meet the 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders.
Under the EWSS a subsidy will be available for new and seasonal employees, in addition to existing employees.
The EWSS is also open to newly commenced businesses. Where a business commenced after 1st November 2019, the eligibility criteria will be assessed against projected turnover or customer orders had there been no COVID-19 disruption.
Revenue have confirmed that the EWSS can be claimed in respect of proprietary directors, subject to certain conditions - click here to find out more about EWSS & proprietary directors.
Under the EWSS, employers will no longer have to download CSV files.
Eligible employers will be required to register for the EWSS via ROS, using Manage Tax Registrations (under Other Services) in the main ROS screen. Employers must hold up to date tax clearance to register for the scheme and receive the subsidy payments.
The date of registration cannot be back dated prior to the date of application and does not need to be back dated if a claim will be submitted in respect of payments in July & August. Therefore, it is imperative that registration is undertaken prior to the first pay date in respect of which EWSS is being claimed.
The EWSS will be administered by Revenue on a ‘self-assessment’ basis. Employers must review their eligibility status on the last day of every month to ensure they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. If they no longer qualify, they should de-register for EWSS with effect from the following day (that being the 1st of the month).
Under the EWSS employers will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 or €151.50 per employee, per week, depending on the employee’s gross weekly pay. A subsidy will not be available for employee’s whose gross weekly earnings are less than €151.50 or greater than €1,462. The gross pay includes notional pay and is before any deductions for pension, salary sacrifice etc.
There will be an indicator on the payroll submission to indicate that an employee is an eligible employee for EWSS. On receipt of an eligible payslip, Revenue will calculate the subsidy payable based on the gross pay, pay frequency and the insurable weeks.
EWSS is a subsidy paid to an employer, it will not show on a payslip or in myAccount. The subsidy will be paid to employers monthly after the return due date, which is the 14th of the following month. Any changes made to payroll submissions after the return due date will not be processed for subsidy payments.
Under the EWSS, employers will be required to pay employees in the normal manner i.e. calculating and deducting Income Tax, USC and employee PRSI through the payroll.
The normal requirement to operate PAYE on all payments will be re-established under the EWSS.
However, a 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy. This will be achieved as follows:
For more information on the TWSS and EWSS register for our free webinar which takes place on 3rd September 2020. We will be joined by Revenue to discuss what you need to know about both schemes.
The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced in March 2020 to provide financial support to workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The scheme enabled employees whose employers are affected by the pandemic to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system.
The TWSS scheme is ending on 31st August 2020. Therefore, J9 submissions with a pay date after 31st August will be rejected by Revenue.
During the transitional phase of the scheme, Revenue refunded a flat rate of €410 per employee per pay period. In a lot of cases, this amount exceeded the subsidy that the employee was entitled to receive for that week, and this will be rectified when Revenue perform a reconciliation of employer refunds.
The aim of the reconciliation is to:
Revenue are hoping to commence the TWSS reconciliation in October. TWSS CSV reconciliation files will be uploaded to Revenue to enable them to reconcile the amount of subsidy paid to the employee against the amount refunded by Revenue.
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.
In some cases, an employer may decide 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.
A new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1st September 2020. It is expected to continue until 31 March 2021.
For more information on the TWSS and EWSS register for our free webinar which takes place on 3rd September. We will be joined by Revenue to discuss what you need to know about both schemes.
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.
Employee apps have become a big trend in the digital communications infrastructure of businesses in every industry imaginable over the past few years. Initially, they served little or no real tangible purpose other than to help the business appear to be at the forefront of technology and employment trends. However, more recently, app designers have created apps that deliver real, measurable value for both employees and employers.
Introduced in 2017, the BrightPay employee app is available to all BrightPay Connect customers. Connect is an add-on to the payroll software which offers a whole host of additional features, from automatic cloud backup to employee dashboards. However, the employee app is one of the most attractive of these additional features, and for good reason.
This is because employers and human resource managers are constantly trying to find more effective ways of communicating with their employees, as well as methods to streamline everyday processes such as annual leave requests. Our employee app does all of this and more, and gives employees a crucial sense of engagement that’s invaluable to company culture and the productivity of staff.
But, if you’re an employer or human resources manager who’s considering using an employee app to update your internal comms abilities, you’re going to need to weigh up the benefits of the app and think about how they would apply to your organisation.
So, without further ado, let’s break down the benefits of employee apps so that you can make the best decision for your business.
Leave Requests and Approval
Few people expect that an employee app can help with leave requests, but they can. In the BrightPay Connect employee app, employees can apply for annual leave or unpaid leave directly from their tablet or smartphone. Once they've sent their request, the relevant manager will receive a notification on their BrightPay Connect dashboard.
From here, they can approve or reject the request. The calendar on their dashboard will show them all of the scheduled leave for the relevant dates, so they can see who else is on leave at that time. If they choose to approve it, the leave will automatically appear in the company calendar on both the online dashboard and the employee app.
This is particularly useful to companies with large numbers of employees whereby a significant amount of time is spent processing employee leave requests and manually updating the company calendar.
Another major benefit of using a self-service employee app is the vast improvement in internal communications. Employers can upload any type of documents they want to be available on the employee app. These documents are then stored in the cloud, where employees can easily access them from anywhere in the world.
What makes this feature even more useful is that the employer can choose who has access to which documents. For example, you may upload three documents at once. One is an updated Health and Safety policy, another is a new budget document for the marketing team, and another is an employee file for a recent starter.
Our document sharing feature will allow you to make your Health and Safety policy available to everyone in the company, make the budget document available only to the marketing team, and make the new employee file only visible to yourself and your human resources manager. You can customize the access permissions for each document, and change that access at any time. And you can see who has opened and read the various documents via a time-stamped historical log.
This means that, not only can you use the document sharing facility to distribute important documents to your employees, but you can also use Connect as a secure online hub, where you store all employee data and documents safely.
One of the features of the BrightPay Connect employee app that your employees will really love is the handy payslip archive. Via the app, payslips are distributed directly to employee smartphones or tablets where they can be viewed, downloaded and printed in just a few clicks. But, in addition to this, the payslips are kept on the app in a historical archive that dates back to when you started using BrightPay Payroll - even if it’s before you introduced the app or started using BrightPay Connect.
This is great news for employees for two reasons. Firstly, because they cannot lose payslips in their email inbox or accidentally delete them and have to ask for them to be resent. And secondly, because it makes applying for mortgages or other personal finance banking options simpler as they can easily access and print as many payslips as their bank requires.
If you think that the BrightPay Connect employee app could benefit your business, why not book a free demo with our team of Connect experts? They will talk you through all of its many features, including the app and so much more.
Join BrightPay 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. BrightPay 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.
We’re always keen to hear what the biggest challenges are for payroll bureaus and how we can help make their job easier. One of the most common issues we understand is that requesting payroll information from clients can be an inefficient, time-consuming and often, frustrating process. The good news is that BrightPay Connect makes this process so much simpler. It has become a must-have tool for bureaus who want to streamline their payroll process and increase efficiency.
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.
In May the Government published the Return to Work Safely Protocol. This comprehensive document sets out a number of measures that employers must take in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace as we reopen our economy.
The Health Service Authority (HSA) is responsible for ensuring that employers are following the protocol and preparing and putting systems and controls in place. They will also be carrying out workplace inspections to ensure the Protocol is being implemented.
The document and possible inspections pose a new challenge for Human Resources managers. As they try to keep on top of all of the latest advice and guidance relating to how business should adapt to the current environment, it can feel overwhelming. To help, we’ve compiled this list of 8 things that HR managers can do to not only ensure they are compliant with government guidelines but also protect staff and cultivate a safe workplace.
BrightPay Connect is the perfect cloud portal to assist HR managers at this time thanks to its employee app with document sharing functionality. HR managers can send out important COVID-19 related policies, updates, forms and other documents to either a single employee, specific teams or departments, or all employees across the board. They can also track who has read the information sent as a time-stamped log is kept in the cloud.
You can book a free demo of BrightPay Connect for employers today to learn more about how Connect can improve your HR operations.
Communication is key and employees coming back to work are likely to have a lot of questions about everything from how the pandemic has affected their annual leave entitlements to what measures the employer is taking to minimise the risk of exposure in the workplace. You will also have new policies and procedures to share with employees. Not only is a COVID-19 Induction Training Session mandatory, but it is also a great way to share all of this information, answer any questions that employees may have and facilitate discussion. This training is required as set out in the Return to Work Safely Protocol.
This is the key element of your compliance with the Protocol. It is best thought of as a comprehensive catch-all document that deals with all points of relevance relating to COVID-19 and the workplace in one place. This plan needs to outline the following:
Once finalised, this plan should be dispersed amongst employees. A great way to do this is by using the BrightPay Connect employee app.
In addition to creating new policies and procedures, all existing policies should be reviewed. In particular, your Health And Safety, Sick Leave and Annual Leave policies will need to be updated. However, you may find that other policies too need to be tweaked in order to reflect the current workplace environment and to comply with the Government Protocol.
Before your employees return to the workplace, it’s important to send out what are called “Pre-Return To Work Forms”. These forms must be filled out at least 3 days before employees return to work and must include a set of prescribed questions as set out in the Protocol. However, additional questions can be added to cater to your business needs and any unique circumstances that apply to your employees. A Pre-Return To Work Form template has been made available on the HSA website.
Every workplace must appoint at least one lead worker representative. This person, along with management, will be responsible for ensuring that the new COVID-19 measures which have been introduced are strictly adhered to in their place of work by all employees. The HR manager will need to work closely with this person to ensure that they are fully informed of the company's new policies and can share information with other employees in regard to them.
One of the things that many employees are confused about is how the Coronavirus has affected annual leave entitlements. Many employees are worried that they won't accrue leave for the time that they spent on lay-off, or that they won't be able to carry their leave into 2021 despite not being able to book holidays abroad as normal in 2020. The best thing that a HR manager can do to address these worries is to make the businesses position on annual leave very clear from the outset, including any changes that have been made to the existing leave policy.
Again, the BrightPay Connect employee app is the perfect vessel for distributing this information as HR managers can check who has received and read the updated policy and who hasn’t.
Finally, it should go without saying that allowing your employees to work from home is still preferable in all cases where possible. Of course, for many businesses it simply isn’t possible to have all staff working remotely at all times. If your business falls into this category, perhaps you could have employees spend 2 or 3 days per week working from home on a staggered basis, so that there is always someone in the office but never more people than necessary. Where working from home is not an option, make sure to put social distancing measures in place with clear signage to help protect employees.
The key point here is to find what works best for your business and do your absolute best to allow employees to work from home as much as is possible.
On the 25th of June BrightPay held a free webinar to share information on returning to work post-lockdown and what employers and HR managers need to know. You can watch this webinar on demand today to keep up-to-date on the latest advice and guidance.