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 Support 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 Support 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:

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 July to December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. (More to be announced for companies not in operation before July 2019).Not available for proprietary directors.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  30 April 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

Updates to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced to provide financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme came into effect on the 26 March 2020. More information on the TWSS can be found on our help site here.

Extension of the TWSS

Last week Minister Donohoe announced that the TWSS will remain in place until the end of August, extending the expected end date by two months. Discussions will be held towards the end of August to determine whether further extension of the scheme will take place after this extended period. 

Employees Returning from Maternity and Other Related Leave

On 29 May 2020, the Minister also announced that the eligibility of employees for the TWSS will be expanded to include employees returning to work following a period of maternity, paternity or other related leave. Additionally, employees that were in receipt of illness or other benefits paid by the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection (DEASP) may also now be eligible for the scheme.

Employers wishing to avail of the scheme for the aforementioned employees, can now apply through ROS myEnquiries. These employees will be included in a revised CSV file, which employers can use to pay their employees a subsidy amount. More information on which employees will now be eligible, as well as the steps required to apply can be found on Revenue’s website here.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

Team SimplePay

Updates to the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme provides financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme allows employers to pay their employees a non-taxable subsidy amount as well as an additional top-up amount. These amounts are subject to certain maximums based on the employee’s Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP), calculated based on the amounts submitted to Revenue for January and February 2020. 

For more information on the Scheme and how you can operate it through SimplePay, please visit our blog post here.

Since introducing subsidy measures, there have been a few changes in the rules and application. On Wednesday 15 April, the Minister for Finance announced further updates to the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. These changes allow for employees with an ARNWP of more than €960 to now receive support under this scheme with effect from the 16th April 2020. Previously employees with an ARNWP higher than €960 were offered no relief in the form of subsidies.

From 4 May 2020, the Scheme will ensure that employers are informed by Revenue of the maximum subsidy amount payable per employee based on their ARNWP. It will also allow Revenue to refund employers a more accurate amount.

Additionally, from 4 May, employees whose ARNWP is less than €500 will also benefit from an improved subsidy amount.

Note: The subsidy will be tapered to ensure that the employee’s current net weekly pay (subsidy amount plus top-up amount) does not exceed the lesser of the ARNWP and €960 per week. Effectively, this means that employees whose usual pay amount has been reduced but is still above €960 are not eligible for the subsidy.

More information on the aforementioned changes be found on the Revenue website here.

Updates to COVID-19 System Items

We have implemented two changes to our COVID-19 system items: Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme.

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

Revenue has introduced a new field to the Payment Submission Request (PSR) for amounts paid to employees under the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

We have updated our system to incorporate this change. When adding the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme system item to an employee’s payslip (outlined in this blog post) the subsidy amount will be reported separately to Revenue. This is reflected in the Other Payments column in the Excel spreadsheet showing submissions to Revenue. Revenue has indicated that they may use this field when doing reconciliation later in the year for the subsidy payments made to employees.

To view the Excel spreadsheet, go to Filing > Regular submissions and click on the Excel link under the relevant period date.

 COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme

The COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme was applicable from the 15th to the 25th March 2020. To avoid errors in reporting, the system item for it was removed when the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme replaced the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme. However, we have made the system item available again for those employers who paid employees under this Refund scheme but did not finalise payslips and submit the information to Revenue. Please only use this system item if you made an actual payment to employees during the 15-25 March period. If the payment was made after the 25th March, you must use the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme system item.

To add the system item to payslips with a payment date in the 15-25 March period, go to the employee’s profile. Click on Add next to Payslip Inputs and select COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme (obsolete).

New Feature: Managing End of Service in Bulk

To ease the payroll burden on employers and payroll administrators during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced a new Employee Actions section to our Bulk Actions page to allow users to do the following for their employees in bulk:

  • End Service
  • Reinstate
  • Undo End of Service

This new bulk functionality allows you to manage multiple employees’ services in one place on SimplePay. This means that whether you are putting your employees on Reduced Working Time due to COVID-19, or you are reinstating them when business has returned to normal, you will be able to do this easily and for all your employees at once!

To learn more about how this functionality works, head over to our help page here.

For larger companies we recommend limiting this bulk functionality to batches of 50 employees to ensure smoother results.

If you have any questions, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

31 March 2020: Clarified that only submissions made on or after the 26th March 2020, with a Pay Date on or after the 26th March 2020 will qualify for this scheme.

27 March 2020: Included a note that the subsidy amount is reckonable income that may be taxed at a later stage by Revenue.

On Tuesday, 24 March the Government announced a new Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme which is aimed at providing financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new scheme comes into effect for any submissions made from, and with a Pay Date from, the 26 March 2020. This new scheme builds on the previous Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, mentioned in our recent blogs:

Employers, who have applied on ROS to operate under the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme,  will be able to make a non-taxable subsidy payment to employees along with a taxable top-up contribution through payroll. The subsidy payment will be refunded by Revenue to the employer after the submission is made to Revenue.

The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available for employers who keep employees on their payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and is not limited to employees who are temporarily laid-off as per the previous scheme.

How to Add the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme item on SimplePay

We have revised the scheme item we previously blogged about and have introduced a new Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme item. This item can be added as follows:

  • Go to Employees
  • Select an employee
  • Select Add next to Payslip Inputs
  • Select the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme item
  • Enter the Subsidy amount
  • Enter the Top-up amount

In an effort to allow employers to continue to pay their employees the amount they would normally be paid, Revenue have allowed for a maximum amount of 70% of the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay to be subsidised by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and a maximum amount of 30% of the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay to be topped up by employers. More information on this is provided below.

Subsidy Amount

The Subsidy amount entered should be equal to 70% of the employee’s net weekly pay, with:

  • A maximum of €410 per week where the Average Net Weekly Pay is less than or equal to €586; or
  • A maximum of €350 per week where the Average Net Weekly Pay is greater than €586 and less than or equal to €960

The Subsidy amount will not be subject to Income Tax, USC or PRSI.

Please note: the Subsidy amount is reckonable income, which may be taxed at a later stage by Revenue. Revenue will be providing information on this on their website.

Top-Up Amount

If an employer wants to make a taxable payment to their employee, they can capture an amount less than or equal to 30% of the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay in the Top-up amount field. This amount will be included in Gross Pay and will be subject to Income Tax, USC and PRSI as calculated by the RPN. However, there will be no employee PRSI applied and the employer PRSI will be reduced to 0.5% of the top-up payment. 

Note that if the employer captures more than 30% in the Top-up amount field (i.e. the employee receives more than their Average Net Weekly Pay), Revenue may reduce the Subsidy amount refunded to the employer. 

Calculating the Average Net Weekly Pay

For now, employers are required to calculate the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay when capturing these amounts. To calculate the Average Net Weekly Pay, employers must use the values in the payroll submission for each pay date in Jan and Feb 2020:

  1. Take the employee’s “Gross pay” and from it subtract the “Income Tax Paid”, the “USC Paid” and the “Employee PRSI Paid“.
  2. Total this figure for each pay date in Jan and Feb 2020 and divide this by the number of insurable weeks (capped at 9) for the period.
  3. This gives you the employee’s average pay that is to be used for the Subsidy amount field.

Revenue has published guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions, which provide a worked example for the calculation of the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay. This can be found here.

PRSI Class J9

Finalised payslips with the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme item added will generate a submission, with the J9 PRSI class included. This PRSI class lets Revenue know that the employee has been paid under the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. You will not need to make any changes to the employee’s PRSI class or PRSI exemption status, this is done automatically when the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme item is added.

Gross Pay of €0.01

Revenue have stated that a pay amount of €0.01 should be included in Gross Pay if no Top-up amount is captured. The reason for this is that some payroll systems require a sum submitted under salary in order to function. Luckily for you, with SimplePay no amount is needed under Basic Salary for you to run your payroll, meaning the payslips’ basic salary will read zero. Revenue has communicated directly with us that the €0.01 is not required and employers will still receive a refund when submitting €0.00.

How to Apply to the Scheme:

Employers, and their agents, will need to apply to Revenue to operate the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. To do this, please follow the steps outlined by Revenue in the “Registering for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme” section. Employers, already registered with Revenue for the purposes of the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, are not required to take any further action.

Employers must not operate this scheme for any employee who is making a claim for duplicate support (e.g. Pandemic Unemployment Payment) from the DEASP.

More information on the scheme can be found on Revenue’s website here.

As always, we’re here to help where we can. Please feel free to get in touch if you need help with any of the above on SimplePay.

Team SimplePay

Update: Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme

Yesterday you may have read our blog about the new Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, a special support payment of €203 per week, which allows employers to pay their employees who are temporarily laid off. This amount can be paid by the employer through payroll, being refunded the day after the submission is made. You can read more about this on our blog post here.

We have been hard at work making changes to our system in order to cater for these payments to employees and the submissions to Revenue. A new COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme item can be added as follows:

  • Go to Employees
  • Select an employee
  • Select Add next to Payslip Inputs
  • Select the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme item
  • Enter the corresponding amount based on the employee’s pay frequency

Employees who have been temporarily laid off can be paid €203 per week under this scheme. Therefore employers must input the correct amount based on the employee’s pay frequency:

  • Weekly – €203
  • Every 2 weeks – €406
  • Monthly – €812 (for 4 weeks in a month) or €1015 (for 5 weeks in a month)

This amount is not subject to tax, USC or PRSI. 

If you have multiple employees per week and want to save some time, you can use our Bulk Input functionality. Visit our Help Site here for more information.

Employees under this scheme must not receive any other wage payments from their employer, including wage top ups, overtime, shift allowance and on-call payments. As such, you will need to set the Basic Salary to 0 and remove any other Payslip Items and Regular Items on the payslip before finalising. 

Finalised payslips with the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme item added will generate a submission, with the J9 PRSI class included. This PRSI class lets Revenue know that the employee has been paid under the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme. You will not need to make any changes to the employee’s PRSI class or PRSI exemption status, this is done automatically when the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme item is added.

One possible situation that could lead to complications is where employees are paid monthly or fortnightly, but have been laid-off part way through their pay period. In this scenario, employers should not finalise the payslip, but should first switch their employees to a weekly pay frequency, allowing for the worked weeks to be separated from payments under the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme. The worked weeks should have the monthly pay pro-rated accordingly. This is in line with Revenue’s recommendations in their guide for the Operation of the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme, which can be viewed here

Note: In the aforementioned guide, a pay amount of €0.01 is required in order for payroll to run. The reason for this is that some payroll systems require a sum submitted under salary in order to function. Luckily for you, with SimplePay no amount is needed under Basic Salary for you to run your payroll, meaning the payslips’ basic salary will read zero. Revenue has communicated directly with us that the €0.01 is not required and employers will still receive a refund when submitting €0.00. 

Revenue has advised that if an employee has already been terminated due to temporary lay-offs, the special payment will need to be claimed directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and not through payroll. Even if you reinstate your employee through payroll, Revenue will not be refunding employers if they have previously made a payroll submission with the employee’s cessation date.

Please refer to the Revenue guide for the Operation of the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme as it provides a more in depth overview of the scheme. To register for the scheme please follow the guidelines provided by Revenue here.

Team SimplePay

Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme

On 15 March 2020, Regina Doherty, the current Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) announced that workers who are temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will be able to claim a special support payment of €203 per week. 

Revenue and DEASP unveiled an optional “Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme”, which allows for employers to make payments to the value of €203 per week to their employees directly, through the normal payroll process. 

The amounts paid to employees under the scheme are not subject to tax, USC or PRSI. Revenue will also reimburse these payments to the employer’s bank account the day after the submission is made (starting Tuesday 24 March).

We are currently working on changes to our system to allow for these payments to be correctly catered for in the submissions to ROS. We will keep you updated and let you know when these changes are Live! In the meantime, employers, and their agents, will need to apply to Revenue to operate this new Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme. To do this, please follow the steps outlined by Revenue in the “Making an application for the Refund Scheme” section.

Some key requirements to be able to partake in the scheme include:

  • Employees must have been temporarily laid off. Employees who have merely had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 will not be eligible for this scheme.
  • Laid off employees must possess a PPSN.
  • Employees must have been included on a payroll submission, made by the employer between 1 February 2020 and 15 March 2020.
  • Employees must be receiving no other wage payment from their employer, including wage top ups, overtime, shift allowance and on-call payments.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Should employers wish to partake in this scheme, employees should not be terminated on SimplePay and should remain as active employees for the duration of the scheme. 

More information has been provided by the DEASP and Revenue

Thank you for your patience whilst we implement these changes.

Team SimplePay