New System Items for Salary Sacrifices

Providing employees with bicycles as part of the Bike-to-Work scheme or travel passes for commuting to work can be great ways to offer tax-free benefits to employees while also encouraging more sustainable travel solutions. You may wish to recoup some or all of the costs associated with these benefits by offering employees a salary sacrifice. Our new system items simplify the process of correctly recording and reporting these salary sacrifices.

These new system items are set up to automatically reduce the gross pay that is reported to Revenue by the amount of the salary sacrifice for the period. The reduced gross pay also means that the salary sacrifice for the period correctly reduces the PAYE, USC and PRSI automatically calculated by the system, without you needing to manually set up a custom item for this.

The Bike to Work – Salary Sacrifice system item allows you to spread the salary sacrifice over multiple pay periods, since these are usually large once-off purchases. You can record the total value of the benefit that needs to be recouped through a salary sacrifice and how much of this will be recouped on each payslip. The system will then automatically keep track of the balance that still needs to be recouped in forthcoming pay periods.

For information on how to use these system items, refer to the following help pages:

More information on the concepts of Bike to Work, travel passes and salary sacrifices can be found in the following articles:

We hope these new system items make your payroll processing even easier.

Not a SimplePay client but want an easy-to-use payroll software solution that is tailored to Irish payroll legislation? We offer a free 30-day trial that allows you to see just how simple payroll processing can be. You can learn more and sign up here.

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As you are no doubt aware, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) came to a conclusion on 31 August, and has been replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).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

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

Employee Filtering Revamp

SimplePay has always taken a user-orientated approach to payroll. It’s why we focus on two things – building an outstanding product and providing quality customer support. In a nutshell, SimplePay is all about you – our clients! So when the requests came streaming in for an easier way to filter employers, we jumped right on it. Introducing our newly revamped employee filters.

Our new employee filters functionality gives you more options for filtering employees. Depending on what page you’re on, you can filter employees according to pay point, pay frequency or active / inactive status. All pages with filters also let you select employees individually or use the convenient search bar to find specific employees by searching for their name or employee number.

Filters have been added or revamped for the following:

  • Employee list (Under Employees)
  • Employee users (Under Employees > Self-Service)
  • The leave overview calendar (Under Employees > Leave Overview)
  • All bulk action options (Under Employees > Bulk Actions)
  • Bulk finalising payslips (under Pay Runs)
  • All reports (Under Reports)

Finding an employee or selecting only the employees that you need has never been easier! Go check it out and let us know what you think.

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that is all about you, the user? The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial that allows you to explore our system and see just how easy and stress-free payroll can be. Sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here.

Team SimplePay

New Process for Company Transfers

At SimplePay, the protection of your data and privacy is of utmost importance to us. With that in mind, we’re changing the way that we do company transfers. Our new 4-step process makes company transfers even more secure and gives you greater control over the process. 

Company transfers involve moving a company from one SimplePay profile to another. Transferring the company will change which profile owns the company on SimplePay and consequently which profile gets billed for the company.

It is important to note the following, which often causes confusion:

  • Ownership of a company on SimplePay is not necessarily related to the actual ownership of a business. When a new company is added to SimplePay, it belongs to the profile that the user was logged into when creating it. For example, a small business may be owned by an entrepreneur, but the company’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm. If the company was added to the accounting firm’s profile, the accounting firm is the owner of the company on SimplePay, even though they are not the owners of the registered business.
  • The need for company transfers must not be confused with the need for different users. If you need to give or revoke an individual’s access to a company, this can be done by adding or removing the individuals as users. (The exception being that you cannot remove the account owner i.e. the user with the email address used to create the profile that owns the company).

The following examples illustrate when company transfers are necessary:

  • A business’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm and the business now wishes to process their own payroll. The company on SimplePay would be transferred from the accounting firm’s profile to the business’s profile.
  • A business is sold. The previous owners should no longer have ownership of the company on SimplePay. The company on SimplePay would need to be transferred from the prior owner’s profile to the new owner’s profile.

If you have determined that a company transfer is necessary, you will need to follow our 4-step process for company transfers, which is outlined in the following help article:

Can I transfer a company to a different profile?

Not a SimplePay client but want to enjoy the benefits of secure payroll? Unfortunately our payroll system is only available to 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

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

New Feature: End Service Checklist

You asked us for a way to help you remember to capture the necessary payslip items associated with employee terminations, and we’ve been listening. Introducing our newest feature: the End Service Checklist.

When ending an employee’s service on the system, there will now be a pop up if the employee:

  • has a positive leave balance that you need to pay out
  • has a savings balance that you need to pay out 
  • has a loan balance that still needs to be paid

If you are capturing the termination and the employee only has the last payslip as a draft (i.e. prior payslips have been finalised), you can click on each item in the checklist to open the system item where action is needed.

More information on these topics can be found in the following help articles:

Please note: Expansion of this feature is in our pipeline. At this stage, this new checklist only works for:

  • employees terminated individually, not in bulk.
  • positive balances (i.e. if an employee’s leave balance is a negative, then it will not appear on the checklist).

We hope this new feature is everything that you imagined it would be, and more!

If you need assistance with any of these payslip items, please contact us.

Team SimplePay