Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Returning to Work

Monday 12 April 2021 was a day that gave cause for cautious optimism, as the Government began loosening restrictions and reopening the country. Provided COVID-19 numbers remain subdued over the coming months, many employees that have been relying on Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUPs) since December 2020 can begin to return to work. 

Our blog post today is aimed at informing you on the process and what is required of you and your employees when making this transition.

Returning to Work

The very first thing that your employee needs to do on the date that they return to work is close their PUP claim on the DEASP website.

Until this is done, the process to change the employee’s RPN cannot begin and so will result in them paying more tax. The process is as follows:

  1. Your employee closes their PUP claim on the DEASP website.
  2. DEASP will make the last PUP payment due to your employee, before closing the claim on their system and informing Revenue.
  3. On receiving the information for DEASP, Revenue will update your employee’s tax credits in line with the amount received through PUP, before creating an updated RPN on a week 1 basis. 

From the date your employee(s) close their PUP claim, it will take approximately two weeks before an updated week 1 RPN will be available. If your employees are paid weekly or fortnightly for these pay periods they will pay more tax, due to no tax credits being available on the RPN.

This is unfortunately an unavoidable feature of the transition, but there are some things that you as an employer can do to minimise the extra tax your employees will have to pay:

  1. Encourage your employees to close their PUP claim on their first day back at work – this will get the process started.
  2. Pull RPNs for your employees as close to the payment date as possible – this will maximise the chances of receiving an updated RPN for your employee(s), reflecting that they’ve returned to work.

Any overpayments of tax and/or USC will be reimbursed, but employees will need to wait for their Statement of Liability in 2022, meaning that it is better to use the updated information  now if possible and save the wait.

NOTE: Overlap between PUP payments and first week back

The PUP system works as follows:

  • Friday of any given week: people enrolled for PUP are noted for payment in the following week.
  • Tuesday of the following week: PUP payments are made in accordance with the list of people collected on the Friday.

If your employee returns to work on a Monday and immediately closes their PUP claim, as they were still registered as unemployed on Friday they will still receive a PUP payment for their first week back at work. In other words the first week back they will receive both their salary and a PUP payment.

This is not an error so do not be concerned when this occurs. If you would like to learn more about the taxation of PUP for 2021 and the effect of returning to work, you can find out more on the Revenue page.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.ie

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TWSS Reconciliation

As you’re likely aware, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced last year to help mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic on employment. Affected employers could receive income support for their employees, helping avoid layoffs over the period that trade was restricted. A requirement to partaking in TWSS was that employers would need to carry out a reconciliation process after the scheme had reached completion. The first phase of this occurred in October 2020, where employers were required to submit reconciliation reports, as covered in our previous blog post.

This Monday (22 March 2021) the reconciliation window for TWSS opened. Between now and 30 June 2021 you will need to log into ROS, check the information recorded to be correct, make amendments if necessary, and submit your reconciliation. 

If you haven’t already, you will receive a notification in your ROS inbox when your reconciliation information is available.

IMPORTANT: The deadline for completing the reconciliation is not until 30 June 2021. Before you review and accept your reconciliation balance on ROS, you need to read through Revenue’s guidance on the TWSS reconciliation to ensure that you complete it correctly. This provides a useful overview, as well as information on each key step of the reconciliation process.

In section 4 “How to review and correct subsidy paid data” we would recommend that you make any necessary amendments directly on ROS. This will immediately update your information to give you an up to date statement of account on submission.

Information about TWSS reconciliation can also be found in this Revenue Press Release, and in this Extensive Guide which covers the whole process in detail.

What Happens Next?

Whether or not you make any amendments to the amount of TWSS paid to your employees on ROS, Revenue will combine this information with any payments you have already made to issue you with a statement of account. This will show the amount that either you or Revenue owe to the other.

PRSI Corrections Post TWSS Reconciliation

The J9 PRSI class contributes to the number of insurable weeks of the last used non-J9 PRSI class. As a result, you’re unlikely to need to make any manual changes to the PRSI class.

However, where PRSI Class J9 was applied to your employees’ payslips and:

  • You opted out / reversed out of TWSS;
  • You were ineligible for TWSS;
  • One or more of your employees were ineligible for TWSS; or
  • Certain payslips were ineligible

then an adjustment may be required.

If Revenue has raised a PAYE or PRSI assessment with you for some or all of 26 March to 31 August 2020, then you should confirm with the caseworker whether you need to make any adjustments.

More information on changing PRSI classes on payslips for the TWSS period can be found here.

Useful Links

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.ie

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Level 5: Support for Businesses

As of midnight on 21 October, the whole of Ireland entered into level 5 of lockdown for a period of 6 weeks. Our blog post today looks into changes that have or are to be made to existing schemes, in order to help support your business and employees.

Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS)

The rate of subsidy for EWSS has been revised to help support your business under level 5. The EWSS rates are to be aligned with the PUP rates of payment. If your employees’ gross earnings were €400 or more per week prior to the pandemic, they will now receive €350.

These changes will be effective from the next payroll date, after 19 October 2020. For convenience we have attached the revised rates in the table below:

COVID-19 Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS)

The eligibility criteria for CRSS have been relaxed, meaning your company can qualify for it provided that your turnover is no more than 25% of the average weekly turnover for a period equal to the same number of weeks in 2019. New businesses will instead be required to use figures from 2020. If your business is affected by entering into level 5, this might provide you with a means of further relief, in addition to EWSS.

To qualify, your business must be operating from premises wholly located in a region which is subject to restrictions under the Government’s “Resilience and Recovery 2020: Plan for Living with Covid-19”.  As a result, you must be required to prohibit or restrict members of the public from entering your premises. Generally, restrictions apply at levels 3, 4 and 5, but your business might still qualify at lower levels, depending on your circumstances.

The support provided is as follows. Up to the first €20,000 of your company’s 2019 average weekly turnover, you will receive a 10% cash payment. If your business’s weekly turnover was greater than €20,000, any  amounts above this will accumulate additional payments at 5%, up to a maximum payment of €5,000 per week from the scheme. Therefore, to get the maximum amount, your business’s average weekly turnover in 2019 would need to be €80,000.

The scheme is due to run between 13 October 2020 and 31 March 2021, but Revenue is still in the process of adapting their systems for the scheme. Therefore the first payment under CRSS will be delayed until the CRSS system is live.

For more information on the CRSS, you can read the Government’s overview letter here.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

In relation to PUP, the Government has introduced a fourth bracket of payment. If your employee’s gross earnings were €400 or more per week prior to the pandemic, they will now receive €350 from their PUP payment. This aligns PUP with EWSS.

This change takes effect for all new applications received from 16 October 2020. All the other PUP brackets remain unchanged at €203, €250 and €300.

New applicants are being urged to apply online at MyWelfare.ie.

Sectors Exempted from Level 5 of Lockdown

If your business falls within one of the Government’s listed essential services or essential retailers, your business is permitted to continue operating under level 5.

The list of essential retailers can be found here.

The list of essential services can be found here

Please note that both these lists only apply to level 5 and may be changed if the lockdown level drops.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.ie

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

EWSS Sweepback Process

As you are no doubt aware, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) came to a conclusion on 31 August, and has been replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). If you are not familiar with EWSS, you can read about it on our help page. Some of your employees may not have been eligible for TWSS, adding to your financial burden. To make sure that support in relation to such employees doesn’t fall through the cracks, Revenue has implemented the July / August EWSS sweepback (the sweepback).

Under the sweepback, eligible employers can backdate a claim for EWSS to 1 July for the relevant eligible employees. This is allowed under the following circumstances:

  • The employer was not eligible for TWSS; or
  • The employer had employees ineligible for TWSS.

How to Apply

If you want to apply for the sweepback, you need to fill in this Sweepback CSV Template and submit it on ROS when this facility becomes available on 15 September 2020. All applications for the sweepback must be submitted before 14 October 2020 through ROS to be considered.

Revenue has released this handy guidance document for the sweepback process covering eligibility, how to apply, how to fill in the CSV as well as how to upload it to ROS. 

EWSS Claims from September Onwards

As we love making your payroll a doddle, for the wider EWSS scheme we have created a new EWSS system item. If you as a company and some or all of your employees qualify for EWSS, the relevant employees should have the EWSS item added for the months that they qualify from September onwards. This has no effect on the payslip or calculations, but will inform Revenue of the relevant amounts due. You can read more about this in our previous blog post from 31 August.

Not a SimplePay client? Our self-service portal allows employees to view payslips and tax certificates, update their personal information and submit leave and claims for payslip items. It’s one of the many features that makes payroll with SimplePay so easy. Not convinced? We offer a free 30 day trial that lets you try out our system to see if it suits your payroll needs. You can sign up for the trial here.

Team SimplePay

Ending Service on SimplePay

One of the demands that COVID-19 has placed on businesses is the need to be flexible in the number of staff under their employ at a certain period in time. We at SimplePay appreciate this and so the blog today is aimed at informing you on what you need to do to accommodate your situation through the system to ensure accurate submissions, enable employees to claim benefits and prevent unnecessary billing.

Employees Leaving your Company

Ending Employees’ Service

If for any reason, one or more of your employees are no longer able to work for your business and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is not a viable option, it is important to end their service on SimplePay for the following reasons:

  1. Ending employees’ service correctly provides them access to Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP) or social welfare benefits.
  2. SimplePay’s pricing model is based on the number of active employees on the system at the start of your monthly billing cycle. Therefore, if the employee is still active on the system when your invoice is generated, you will be charged for the employee even if no payslips have been processed for that employee. 

Information on ending an employee’s service is detailed in this help article, including the end service checklist and managing employee’s end service. You can also read more about our end service checklist in our blog from 25 June.

If you have several employees whom you have to end service for, you can do this in bulk as detailed on this help page.

Actions to Take upon Ending an Employee’s Service

The date which an ex-employee ceases to work for you needs to be recorded on SimplePay so to inform Revenue. Ending an employee’s service on a certain date, then finalising the payslips for the month in question means SimplePay will automatically include this employee’s end date on your submission to Revenue.

If whilst still under your employ, an ex-employee was sent invoice emails from SimplePay, the billing email list needs to be amended. To do this, click on the Profile Icon > Billing > Update Billing preferences and remove the relevant billing email(s). The same is true for any granted admin roles on SimplePay, where these rights should be deactivated for ex-employees.

Shutdown of Business

If lockdown or other reasons mean you need to close your business on a temporary or permanent basis, your intention on whether to reopen your business or not determines the appropriate actions to take.

Closing for a Period of Time

If it becomes necessary to close your business, but you intend to reopen, you should end the service for all employees. 

As you are charged per active employee, ending the service for your workforce means that you will not be billed until they become active again.

Permanent Business Closure

In the unfortunate event that you need to close your business permanently, the following steps  need to be followed:

  1. End Service for Employees and Submit to Revenue – as described under “Employees Leaving Your Company” (above), the employees’ service should be ended and this needs to be reflected on their regular submission to inform Revenue.
  2. Deactivate Admin Users on your Account – if you have provided administrative privileges to your company to any ex-employees, we would recommend that these are deactivated upon ending their service. To do this, click on the profile in the top right corner > Manage Users > Delete. Should you wish for an ex-employee to retain access, you can leave their access rights unamended.
  3. (Optional) Remove the Company From SimplePay – If you wish you can delete your company from SimplePay. We strongly recommend against this as it will mean you no longer have access to information assimilated on SimplePay, which might come in useful e.g. should you have any documents requested by Revenue. If you wish to delete your company, details of how to can be found here.

Closing Your Account on SimplePay

It may be the case that you have come to the decision to close your account on SimplePay. If you are sure that this is the right decision for you and there is nothing we can do to change your mind you will need to do the following:

  1. Get in touch with SimplePay at [email protected] and request they close your account. It would be greatly appreciated if in this email you include:
    1. The reason(s) for ending your SimplePay membership
    2. Method of payment used (direct debit / EFT etc.)

N.B.  SimplePay provides you with the option of freezing your account, meaning you can still access SimplePay for three months. This provides you with ample opportunity to ensure that there is not any information that you need which is still on SimplePay.  If though, you are certain that you have all the information you need, you can also opt to close your account with immediate effect.

  1. If there are any outstanding sums, these must be paid. If you are not in a position to do so, please advise us of this so that our billing team can engage with you to determine the best course of action.

We appreciate that this must be an extremely stressful and turbulent situation for you, with many hard decisions to make. If this is the end of your use of SimplePay, thank you for the support. We wish you well and hope that we will get the opportunity to work symbiotically with you again in the not-so-distant future. Should you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Introducing EWSS and TWSS Reconciliation

Amongst many other vital schemes, programmes and incentives, the Government’s July stimulus package signposted the upcoming transition from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). Naturally, as the TWSS starts to draw to a close, the reconciliation of this scheme will begin. In today’s blog we shall give you an outline of what you can expect in the near future with respect to EWSS, as well as the purpose of and likely process for TWSS reconciliation as we come to the end of TWSS.

Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme

The EWSS is due to succeed TWSS in supporting employers in paying employee’s wages and will at least run until April 2021, with the possibility of extension after this date. TWSS is currently still in operation, but is due to close on 31 August. Although EWSS has now opened and is available for the months of July and August, if you are currently participating in the TWSS scheme you should not switch to EWSS until 1 September 2020. There are some fundamental differences between the two schemes, which we have detailed below:

Update 6 August: Proprietary directors reinstated to the EWSS from 1 September – see here.

EWSS vs TWSS

TWSSEWSS
Eligibility Criteria25% reduction in turnover / Customer Orders / reasonable basis for Q2 of 202030% reduction in turnover / Customer Orders for the period of July to December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. (More to be announced for companies not in operation before July 2019).
Proprietary directors can partake from 1 September.
Certain restrictions for connected persons.
Amount paid Under the schemeUp to €410 per employee per week, dependent on salary and employer top upsUp to €203 per employee per week, dependent on salary.
Purpose of the fundingEmployee wagesCompany subsidy
Tax on scheme amountsNot subject to PAYE, USC or PRSI for employees or employers, but taxable on assessment for employees. Reinstatement of PAYE, USC and employee PRSI payroll deductions for employees. Employers PRSI contributions reduced to 0.5%.
Unclear on the tax treatment of the payments to the employer from the EWSS. 
Scheme Operational between1 March to 31 August 20201 July 2020 to  31 March 2021

Revenue is finalising the exact ways in which the EWSS scheme will be run and processed through payroll. They have also stated that if employers wish to participate in EWSS before 1 September, this must be done separately to payroll and so SimplePay will unfortunately not be able to assist you if this is what you wish to do.

When we have a full picture of how the scheme will be implemented and put into effect, we shall inform you on how SimplePay is catering to your needs and making your payroll a doddle!

TWSS Reconciliation

Due to the nature of the situation brought about by COVID-19, the TWSS had to be implemented swiftly to ensure that companies and their employees were supported. Because it was important that employees received funds, the TWSS payments were treated as a non-taxable benefit in terms of PAYE, USC and PRSI, but would be taxable on assessment. Due to this expedited implementation, for the first two months that TWSS was running there was no way of recording the subsidy amount on an employee’s payroll submission. To address this, part way through the scheme Revenue introduced a new payment field labeled “other payment” to allow for subsidy payments to be recorded on employees’ payroll submissions.

The aim of the reconciliation is to:

  • establish the actual subsidy amounts which were paid to each employee; 
  • see if the correct amounts were paid to each employee in the months before accurate subsidy values were provided by Revenue; and
  • settle the difference for these early months between the employer’s and Revenue’s calculated values.

As the framework for this reconciliation process is being finalised, SimplePay will take all the necessary actions to make your processing of this as smooth and hassle free as possible.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.ie

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay