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

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

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

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