Due to the changes and updates to the COVID-19 Government schemes, our support team put together the top four common questions – asked by you and answered by us!
When earnings fluctuate and are within the limits for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) in some pay periods and not others, do we need to untick EWSS for the employee?
No. There is no need to remove the tick for EWSS, our software will remove the indicator from the payroll submission (PSR) in the pay periods the earnings fall outside the relevant limits.
The subsidy being received is more than we are paying the employees, do we pay the employees the difference or will we owe that money back to Revenue?
In some scenarios the employer will receive a subsidy greater than the wages they are paying; they will not have to repay that money to Revenue. The employee should only be paid the wages that are due and not any extra. In other scenarios the subsidy received from Revenue will be less than the wages they are paying.
What payments are permitted under EWSS e.g., can you pay the employees commission?
Yes. The EWSS is a subsidy payable to employers, therefore, it will not show on employee payslips or in myAccount. Under EWSS employers are required to pay employees in the normal manner i.e., calculating and deducting Income Tax, USC and employee PRSI through the payroll. Employees should be paid the wages that are due to them which can include commission, overtime etc.
When employees are claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) from the Department of Social Protection, do we need to do anything on the payroll?
Yes. You should ensure that the employee’s payment is changed to zero, continue to update them with zero pay until such time you are paying them wages again.
There can often be some confusion surrounding an employee's entitlement to pay for a public holiday particularly where the employee may be part-time or the public holiday falls on a day that the employee does not normally work.
It is also worth noting that not every bank holiday is a public holiday though in most cases they coincide. Good Friday is a bank holiday but it is not a public holiday. The following dates are the official public holidays in Ireland.
Employees who qualify for public holiday benefit will be entitled to one of the following:
So, who is entitled to a payment?
How to calculate the amount to be paid?
If the public holiday falls on a day which the employee would normally work:
If the public holiday falls on a day which the employee does not normally work:
Further information can be found at Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the National Minimum Wage be increased by 30c per hour, from €9.25 per hour to €9.55 per hour from 1st January 2018. An employee working a 40 hour week will see their gross wage increase by €12.00 a week. Since 2011 this is the fourth increase in the national minimum wage.
In the report the Low Pay Commission has published it has explained with necessary data of its recommendation of the increase, including international competitive and risks to the economy research. In The Low Pay Commission’s findings submissions from interested parties and consultations with employees and employers in relevant economic sectors had taken place.
This increase will affect around 120,000 employees, increasing their national minimum wage by 3%. 10.1% of employees were earning the National Minimum Wage or less last year according to figures published from the Central Statistics Office last April.
While Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said ‘The Government welcomes the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage by 30c to €9.55 per hour’, the Programme for Government commitment for a minimum wage of €10.50 per hour is still a few steps off.
The 2017 Living Wage has been set at €11.70 per hour, up from €11.50 last year. The new figure represents an increase of 20 cent per hour on the previous rate. The recommended living wage rate is now nearly a third higher than the legally required minimum wage, which is set at €9.25 an hour.
The 20 cent increase in the Living Wage was arrived at upon consideration of a number of changes in the cost of living and the taxation regime in the last year. The Living Wage for the Republic of Ireland was established in 2014, and is updated in July of each year. It is part of a growing international trend to establish an evidence-based hourly income that a full-time worker needs so that they can experience a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.
Where employees use their own private cars or motorcycles for business purposes, reimbursement in respect of allowable motoring expenses can be effected by way of flat-rate mileage allowances.
There are two types of mileage allowance schemes which are acceptable for tax purposes if an employee bears all the motoring expenses:
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has recently published circulars with new Civil Service Travel Rates, the revised rates are effective from 1st April 2017. The distance bands have increased from two to four with a lower recoupment rate for the first 1,500 kilometres.
Business travel carried out between 1st January and 31st March 2017 will not be affected by these new bands and rates, business travel to date from 1st January 2017 will count towards the cumulative business travel for the year.
Motor Travel Rates - Effective from 1st April 2017
Reduced Motor Travel Rates per kilometre
The reduced rates are payable to Civil Service employees who undertake a journey associated with their job but not solely related to the performance of their duties, such as:
The Motor Travel Rates for motorcycles and bicycles remain unchanged as follows:
Bicycle: 8 cent per km
Please note, there are changes to subsistence rates which are also effective from 1st April 2017.
Employers – the P35 deadline is fast approaching, the deadline is February 15th. (Or 46 days after the cessation of the business) Failure to make a P35 return by this date may result in a fine.
The deadline for an employer who pays and files electronically via Revenue Online Services (ROS) is extended to the 23rd of February.
To view our online documentation for preparing and submitting your P35 to ROS via Thesaurus Payroll Manager or BrightPay please click on the links below:
Thesaurus Payroll Manager:
The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 states that the NMW is €8.65 per hour, there are some exceptions to this.
Where employees are under the age of 18 or within the first 2 years after the date of their first employment over the age of 18, the rate is €6.06 per hour
In the first 2 years after the date of first employment over the age of 18, the rate is €6.92 per hour in the first year and €7.79 per hour in the second year
Where a trainee is doing a course which complies with S.I. No. 99 of 2000 for the 1st one third of the period the rate is €6.49 per hour, the 2nd one third the rate is €6.92 per hour, and the 3rd one third the rate is €7.79 per hour.
S.I. No 99 of 2000 is the Statutory Instrument which forms part of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000
For the protection of both employees and employers a Contract of Employment, which is now a legal requirement, should be given to each employee as this will state clearly what is expected of both sides and will minimise or hopefully prevent issues arising that lead to ill feeling or disputes in the workplace.
An employee may opt with Revenue for their LPT liability to be collected by deduction from their salary/wages.
Revenue will communicate to you how much you should deduct from employees in the P2C file (details of tax credits and cut off points) which will be sent to your ROS inbox in June 2013. The LPT field is a new field within the P2C file and BrightPay will detect it automatically once imported into the software. Paper tax credit certificates will also contain this new LPT field and BrightPay will have a new field for inputting the LPT amount manually.
LPT deductions commence for pay dates from 1st July 2013 and, in accordance with Revenue guidelines, BrightPay will deduct the LPT amount evenly over the remainder of the 2013 year. Where, in any pay period, there is insufficient pay to enable deduction of LPT, the balance remaining will be spread evenly over the remaining pay periods.
The LPT deduction, the amount deducted to date and the balance of LPT still to be deducted will be shown on payslips.
The amount you pay to the Collector General by way of a P30 (monthly or quarterly) will include the LPT amount that you have collected. P45s and P60s will also include a new LPT field.
We will be releasing an upgrade in June to handle all of the above.
As with all other statutory deductions, you will be obliged to deduct LPT in accordance with the P2C instruction from Revenue. If an employee has an issue, they must contact Revenue directly. You, as employer, have no discretion in the matter! Revenue can pursue you as employer for any amounts you fail to deduct, charge interest on late payment and fine you for non-compliance.