New Feature: Approver Override

We’re all about helping your business be more efficient, which is why we have a mobile app and self-service portal that allows employees to log their own requests for leave, info updates and claims. But what happens when the approver for that request is on leave? Does the request hang in limbo, bringing your payroll processing to a grinding halt? Now it doesn’t have to. Introducing our new approver override function for Full Admin users.

Full Admin users now have the option to step in and make decisions on pending requests that they are not an approver on. The Full Admin’s approval temporarily overrides the need for it to be approved by the approvers in the approval group – in other words, it bypasses the whole approval structure and the Full Admin user’s decision is taken as final.

For more information on how this works, head to our Approval Override help page.

Need assistance with this new feature? Have an idea for how we can improve this? Get in contact with our helpful Support team who are ready to listen and assist if needed.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Give Admin and Leave Admin Users Read-only Access

Unlike many other payroll systems, SimplePay does not charge for or restrict the number of users on the system. This means that you can give system access to all the people that need it, whether this is a department head who approves leave, a payroll administrator who processes payroll or an external accountant who completes filing submissions. While our user settings already have a range of roles and restrictions that you can configure, we’ve had several requests for giving users read-only access to the system. 

We are delighted to announce that we’ve upgraded our permissions to enable you to give users read-only access, with extensive flexibility that lets you customise this on a company, pay frequency or pay point level. 

When adding a user, you can still select their permission role (e.g. Leave Admin) and restrict them to specific companies, pay frequencies or pay points. However, when restricting users with Admin or Leave Admin roles, you can select the type of access for each company, pay frequency or pay points, namely:

  • Full: gives the user full access to the areas of the system as defined by that particular role
  • Read-only: gives the user read-only access to the areas of the system as defined by that particular role
  • None: gives the user no access

For more information on setting up users with read-only access, refer to our help article here.

We hope that you love the new feature! Please reach out to us if you have any trouble setting up users or if you have any further questions.

Team SimplePay

Week 53 Guidance for Non-Monthly Salaried Employees

Week 53 payments apply to employees that you pay on a weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly basis and whose final pay date of the year falls on 30 or 31 December. They arise every five or six years, due to the fact that a standard year has 52 weeks and one (1) day. 

This year has a week 53 scenario, so to ensure that your employees get tax credits and deductions and so reduce the amount of tax they pay, we’ve made this blog post to guide you on the steps to follow.

Weekly / Fortnightly Employees Whose Pay Dates Don’t Fall on Friday, 1 January 2021.

By week 52 of the tax year, an employee taxed on the cumulative basis has exhausted his or her annual allowances, tax credits and rate bands. This means that if week 53 continued to be taxed in the same way, your employees would experience a drop in their take home pay.

To get around this, the submission for Week 53 needs to be done on a week 1 basis for your non-monthly paid employees.

To do this, all you need to do on SimplePay is:

  1. Ensure you have the correct / latest RPN or the relevant employees; and
  2. complete your submission to Revenue for the relevant period.

Your employees will receive additional amounts of tax credits and rate bands, proportional to their pay frequency to accommodate the extra submission (e.g. an increase of 1/52 the value of the credits and deductions is provided for weekly paid employees).

Weekly / Fortnightly Employees’ Whose Pay Date Falls on Friday, 1 January 2021.

You are normally required to report your employees’ pay to Revenue on or before their pay date. However, if you pay your non-monthly paid employees on a Friday, the week 53 pay date falls on Friday, 1 January 2021, which is a bank holiday. 

Where an employee’s pay date falls on a bank holiday you’re allowed to pay your employees on the previous working day (i.e. Thursday 31 December 2020). If this applies to some of your employees, you must do the following:

  1. Ensure you have the correct / latest RPN or the relevant employees;
  2. Record the pay date as 1 January 2021 and NOT 31 December 2020
  3. Complete your submission to Revenue for the relevant period.

SimplePay will use the RPN to calculate the amounts due, based on the 2021 credit rates and rate bands. Because this allows the use of 2021 rates, the payment falls in the 2021 tax year and so it is not a week 53 payment.

Reminder for 2021 Payroll Submissions

At the start of each year the RPNs from the previous year will expire, meaning that for us to calculate your employees’ tax liability, we need you to create / request a new RPN for the new year. The default until this has been completed is to process tax on the emergency basis, so we would strongly recommend you do this before making any payments or submissions for 2021.

As we like to make your life easy, SimplePay allows you to do this as one single bulk action. All you need to do is sign into your SimplePay profile and go to:

  • Employees > Bulk Actions > Update RPNs.
  • Use the checkboxes next to the employees’ names to select which employees you wish to request an RPN for.
  • Click Create / Update at the top of the screen.

That’s it, you’re then ready to complete your first pay run of 2021. Easy! More information on this can be found on our help site page, linked here

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

TWSS Reconciliation

Update 14 October 2020: Included clarification on which payslips are included in the TWSS Reconciliation CSV file.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) closed on 31 August 2020. Revenue will be conducting a reconciliation of the subsidy amounts refunded by Revenue to employers and the amounts of the subsidy that were paid to employees by employers to be completed.

The reconciliation will determine:

  • if any amount of the subsidy paid to the employer should be paid back to Revenue
  • if the company is entitled to receive additional payments from Revenue if they did not receive the full subsidy

The reconciliation will also allow Revenue to confirm the subsidy amount that was actually paid to employees so that Revenue can accurately calculate the Income Tax and USC liability for individuals that forms part of the End of Year review.

The reconciliation process consists of two phases:

Phase 1

The first phase in the reconciliation process is to submit a reconciliation report to Revenue by 31 October 2020. To do this:

  • Log into SimplePay, go to Reports and click on TWSS Reconcilation CSV – 2020. Please note that only payslips that meet the following criteria will be included in the report:
    • The payslip was submitted to ROS through SimplePay
    • The PRSI class for the employee was J9
    • The otherPayments COVID19 field was not included

Note: The OtherPayments field, introduced in mid April, enabled SimplePay to include the wage subsidy amounts in your submissions to Revenue (read more here). The TWSS Reconciliation CSV will not contain payslips submitted to Revenue after this field was introduced because these subsidy amounts have already been submitted to Revenue. The CSV provides Revenue with the wage subsidy amounts that were paid to employees that haven’t already been reported in your submissions to Revenue.

  • Then log into ROS to upload the CSV report. The steps for uploading the report is outlined in this Revenue document.

Phase 2

All active payslips submitted will be examined to determine the subsidy payable amount for each payslip based on the rules of the TWSS.

Following the completion of the stages, a Statement of Account will be sent to the employer’s ROS inbox.

If you have any questions about the Reconciliation Report, feel free to reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

UI Tweaks for Profile Pages

We take our mission of simplifying payroll seriously! It’s why we believe that the small details matter. With that in mind, you may have noticed some slight changes to our user interface for profile pages, such as Companies, Billing and User Profile. These are the pages that you can access when clicking on the profile icon. 

We’ve made these changes so that you can more easily identify when you are working on your profile as opposed to within a specific company, eliminating any confusion around whether your changes will apply at a company or profile level. 

When working in a specific company, you’ll see the usual interface that you have come to know. When working on one of the profile pages, you’ll now see the following changes:

  • In the top left corner, you’ll now see the G-ref number for your profile or the page name, depending on which page you are on. The top bar has also changed to a darker colour to make it clear that you are working on the profile as a whole and not on a specific company.
  • The sidebar menu for the company that you were working in no longer appears. To return to the company, click on the link that says “Go back to <company name>” that appears in the top left corner next to the G-reference number of page name.

We hope you enjoy this small, but useful change to your user experience.

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll software provider that cares about your experience? SimplePay offers a free 30-day trial that allows you to see just how easy your payroll experience can be. You can sign up here.

Team SimplePay

Claims Request Expanded to Include Employee Hours Worked

Last month we brought you a new feature that allows employees to submit certain claims via the self-service portal (refer to our 6 August blog post). We have now expanded this functionality to include Basic Salary inputs for hourly paid employees.

Hourly paid employees can now submit their hours worked for the month*, which will then need to be approved by the approver for claims. Once approved, it will automatically be added to the next draft payslip for the employee.

As with all types of requests, employees and approvers can attach supporting documentation (in this instance, it may be a signed time sheet) or leave comments.

*Note: Payroll administrators will first need to allow Basic Salary inputs via self-service before this option is available to employees.

For more information on this functionality, refer to the following help article:

Employee Claim Requests

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

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), a COVID-19 relief measure, is effective from tomorrow (1 September 2020) is currently expected to run until 31 March 2021 (although provision has been made for a possible extension at a later stage). This scheme replaces the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) which comes to an end today (31 August 2020). 

If your business’s turnover has been impacted by COVID-19 and you require cash flow relief to pay employees, you may qualify for the new EWSS. The specific eligibility requirements for receiving the EWSS are outlined on our help page.

As a result of the changes discussed above, we have made adjustments to the system to assist you in making claims and to keep you compliant:

  • The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme system item on SimplePay can no longer be added to payslips dated after 31 August 2020. 
  • We have created a new system item called Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme which can be added to payslips dated after 31 August 2020. 

The new EWSS system item should only be added if you are a qualifying employer AND it should only be added to the payslips of qualifying employees. You need to evaluate eligibility on a monthly basis. Revenue may consider it an offence if you add it to payslips if the qualifying criteria have not been met for that period.  

Adding the new EWSS system item to an employee’s payslip will have no impact on an employee’s payslip or any of its calculations. However, it will be reported to Revenue when completing your submission for the pay period so that claims can be calculated and validated, since the subsidy amount depends on an employee’s earnings:

Employee Gross Weekly WagesSubsidy Payable
From € 151.50 to € 202.99€ 151.50
From € 203 to € 1,462€ 203

The total subsidy amount calculated for all employees as a result of these claims will then be paid out by Revenue on a monthly basis.

For more information on this scheme, head to our help page.

Team SimplePay

Self-Service Employee Claim Requests

We love innovating to make payroll simpler and our new self-service employee claims feature does just that.

Our employee self-service option was built to ease the administration burden that comes with payroll:

  • Employees can access historic payslips and tax certificates at any time without having to ask the payroll administrator to send it to them. 
  • Leave requests allow employees to request leave and upload supporting documentation (such as medical certificates), saving you the hassle of having to remember to record leave or follow up with employees for their supporting documentation.
  • Info update requests allow employees to request changes to their basic information, ensuring that you have up-to-date and accurate information for employees.

Our new feature expands self-service to allow employees to submit inputs for the following payslip items:

  • Expense claims
  • Custom items, with the Input Type as “Once-off for specified payslips”, “Different on every payslip”, “Hourly rate * factor * hours” and “Custom rate * quantity”

Employees can enter the amounts that they wish to claim and upload supporting documentation. An approver simply needs to approve the request. It will then be added to the employee’s next draft payslip without the payroll administrator needing to capture any of these payslip amounts. In addition to saving the payroll administrator processing time, it also takes the hassle out of verifying claims, since a separate approver (such as a direct line manager) can be set up for this purpose.

Note: As this is an opt-in feature (for now), you need to request it from our support team, at no additional charge. More information on how this feature works can be found on our help page here.

Not a SimplePay client but you want to use our self-service feature? Unfortunately this feature is only available to SimplePay clients. The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

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