Updated Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme Guide released by Revenue

On 23 August 2021, Revenue published an updated Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) guide. In today’s blog post we will do a short recap on the recent developments to the EWSS, the updates in the new guide and the implications thereof for employers currently claiming under the EWSS. 

Online Eligibility Test

As discussed in our previous blog post on the topic, employers are required to complete an online employer Eligibility Review Form (ERF) through ROS on a monthly basis, by the 15th of each following month in order to remain eligible to claim EWSS. 

Compliance with Extended Online Eligibility Checks 

The June 2021 period was used as the first ERF to assess eligibility for pay dates from 1 July 2021 and this should have been completed and submitted online by employers intending to claim EWSS. Employers were required to submit:

  1. details of actual turnover (excluding VAT) for the first 6 months of 2019 and 2021; and 
  2. monthly projections for the remaining 6 months of 2021.

Revenue previously provided an extension in the deadline for submitting both the June and July Eligibility Review Forms (ERFs) to 15 August 2021. With effect from 1 September 2021, EWSS subsidies will be suspended for those employers whose ERFs from June and July are still outstanding.

Continued Review / Withdrawal from EWSS

This eligibility review must be undertaken on a rolling monthly basis  and will continue to consist of comparing the actual and projected business performance over the period January to December 2021 for pay dates, as illustrated in the updated EWSS guide.

On the 15th of every subsequent month during this period, employers will need to provide details of the actual monthly figures for the previous month, together with a reviewed original projection provided to ensure they remain valid. This can be summarised as follows: 

Submission Due DateActual Monthly Figures to be returnedProjected Monthly Figured to be returned
15 August 2021(closed)January to December 2019January to June 2021July to December 2021
15 August 2021(closed)July 2021August to December 2021
15 September 2021August 2021September to December 2021
15 October 2021September 2021October and December 2021
15 November 2021October 2021November to December 2021
15 December 2021November 2021December 2021

Failure to Submit

Revenue has reminded employers that the monthly online eligibility process is mandatory for employers who wish to claim, or continue to claim, in terms of the EWSS. Employers who do not submit their figures by the prescribed due date(s) will be at risk of having their EWSS payments put on hold and will have to flag this with Revenue to resolve.

Employers who are currently at risk of having their claims frozen will be notified directly by Revenue. 

Annualising of Turnover

As mentioned in a previous blog, the total turnover for businesses which commenced between 1 January and 1 October 2021 for 2019 was annualised by ROS and this may have resulted in some employers incorrectly being deemed eligible or ineligible. 

Employers who are satisfied that their monthly figures are correct and that they qualify in terms of the requirements of EWSS should continue to sign and submit their ERF and contact Revenue via MyEnquiries to ensure timely payment. 

In contrast, any employer who is incorrectly deemed eligible should deregister for EWSS and cease claiming subsidies.

Multiple Businesses

It should be noted that employers with a number of separate business divisions should submit one ERF each month incorporating the information for all eligible businesses.

Detailed Guidance on Completing an ERF

Appendix I of the updated EWSS guide contains a detailed overview, with screenshots, of how to complete the EWSS Eligibility Review Form on ROS and should be referred to by any employers still struggling with the process.

Should you have any questions regarding SimplePay or any of our services, please feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Pro-Rate Custom Items

SimplePay automatically calculates and applies a pro-rate percentage to the Basic Salary of employees if they do not work for a full pay period i.e. the are appointed after the start of a pay period or terminated before the end of a pay period. We’ve received several requests to allow for the pro-rata percentage to be applied to other items, and are delighted to announce that this functionality is now available for certain custom items.

When creating a custom item that is an Income, Allowance or Deduction item, there is now an additional option to enable pro-rate for this custom item if the Input Type has been set up as “Fixed Amount” or “Amount per Employee”:

  • To read more about setting up custom items with this functionality, refer to our Custom Items help page.
  • For more information on how SimplePay calculates the pro-rata percentage, refer to this help page.

We hope this new functionality makes processing payroll for new or terminated employees slightly easier. If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can improve this, please reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

EWSS Monthly Eligibility Check – July Extension and Error Fixing

In this blog post we will look at the recently announced extension in the time allowed to complete the July 2021 EWSS online eligibility check to 15 August 2021 and the consequences of that extension. We will also note some recently discovered errors with the EWSS online system which were  identified after the applications process started and which are currently being dealt with by Revenue.

July 2021 Online Eligibility Check Extension

As noted above, the deadline for the July 2021 EWSS eligibility check has been extended from 30 July to 15 August 2021.

EWSS online eligibility check is set up so that the first time you complete it you are required to provide details of your actual turnover for the first 6 months of 2019 and 2021, as well as monthly projections for the remaining 6 months of 2021. 

Then, on the 15th of each following month, you are required to update the projections you provided with the actual turnover value for the previous month.

Please note that two submissions will now be due on 15 August 2021, due to the extended deadline:

  • The first submission with the 2019 data, 2021 data and July estimates; and
  • The second submission being the July actual figures update.

Technical Errors

Recently there have been a few errors with Revenue’s eligibility check process, especially in relation to the completion of the Eligibility Review Form (“ERF”). There are three main categories of errors which have come up so far and that Revenue are dealing with:

1 – ERF eligibility check for businesses which commenced between 1 January and 31 October 2019 

Eligibility is assessed by comparing your 2019 submissions with those of the equivalent period in 2021 and unfortunately when the ERF was developed, the 2019 figures were annualised and compared with 2021 actual amounts. This has had unintended consequences whereby a relatively small number of submissions have been incorrectly deemed ineligible or eligible for EWSS.

Ineligible Business / Not Claiming

  • A business who is ineligible is not required to complete the online eligibility check and should deregister for EWSS. 
  • If such an employer completes it (for whatever reason) and the ERF incorrectly states they are eligible, this should be ignored and EWSS should not be claimed. 
  • Any EWSS claimed in error should be refunded.

Eligible Business Intending to claim

  • Completion of the ERF is required for eligible businesses who are claiming EWSS. 
  • those who are incorrectly deemed ineligible, please make contact through MyEnquiries seeking to have the stop on EWSS payment removed.

A solution here is being looked at seriously and will be announced as soon as implemented.

2 – ERF declaration for businesses which commenced between 1 January and 31 October 2019 

It seems that Revenue has had an influx of communication from employers who have displayed a reluctance to sign the declaration due to the fact that the 2019 totals showing on the submission differ from those submitted due to the 2019 annualization by the system (discussed above). 

Revenue has advised that employers should sign this declaration if they are satisfied the figures entered by them are correct. They are currently working on revised wording for declarations by these businesses and will advise when it is available.

3 – Employers with more than one business type

There are three categories of employers (business type) for selection at the initial stage of the ERF completion:

  1.  Registered childcare businesses;
  2.  New Businesses (those who commenced after 1 November 2019); and
  3.  All Others.

In instances where employers fit into ‘All Others’ as well as one of the other two, they should select the ‘All Others’ option and ignore any other applicable options

Where employers have a number of eligible businesses, one ERF should be completed with details of all eligible businesses included.

4 – The ‘New Business’ 

There have been situations where employers of entities which have activity prior to 1 November 2019 have selected ‘New Business’ and have consequently been rejected. 

Where employers have incorrectly selected this option, contact should be made through ‘MyEnquiries’ setting out details of error made and seeking that same be amended.

Any further queries on the above should be directed to the appropriate Revenue channel.

Should you have any questions regarding SimplePay or any of our services, please feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Batch Pay Beneficiaries

SimplePay is a payroll system driven by the needs of its users. With that said, we’ve heard your requests for the ability to batch pay beneficiaries using an EFT export file and we’re happy to announce that this feature is here!

When creating a pay run, you can now download the EFT export file next to the beneficiaries report in the same way that you would for the net salaries due to your employees. You can then upload it into your banking portal and pay your beneficiaries in bulk. This saves you the effort of having to set them up as recipients in your banking portal and there is no need to manually type the amounts that need to be paid to each beneficiary, reducing the risk of human error, which could be costly.

For more information on beneficiaries, check out our help page here.

If you need any assistance with this feature or you’d like to give a shout out to the team for their work on this, please reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

End of Year Adjustments for Employers Paying Employee Liabilities Arising from TWSS

In January 2021, Revenue made a Preliminary End of Year Statement for 2020 available for each employee, to assist in determining the amount of Income Tax and USC due. Where employees have under-contributed Income Tax and USC for 2020 due to participation in TWSS, you (the employer) may decide to pay the liability on their behalf.

You have two options for this:

  • you can provide the funds to each employee, who must then pay their liability to Revenue using MyAccount, OR
  • you can amend your last payroll submission of 2020 using SimplePay’s TWSS Reconciliation Adjustments page and pay the additional amounts as per the Revised Monthly Statement over to Revenue. The employee’s Preliminary End of Year Statement will be recalculated, showing the amounts that you have paid over.

To use the second option:

  • Go to Employees > Bulk Actions > TWSS Reconciliation Adjustments
  • At the bottom of the page, select the employees that you wish to make the adjustment for by clicking on the checkbox next to their name. Alternatively, click on All to select all employees
  • Download and open the CSV file
  • Edit the Income Tax and USC figures and save the CSV file
  • Return to the TWSS Reconciliation Adjustments page and click on Choose File
  • Locate the file on your computer
  • Click the checkbox to confirm that you have read SimplePay’s notice
  • Click Upload
  • Check that the new data is displayed and click Save

You will then be redirected back to the TWSS Reconciliation Adjustments page, with a flash message that contains a link to the Submissions page.

If you have any questions about this, please reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme – eligibility reporting from July 2021

Our last blog post explored the extension of the EWSS to 31 December 2021. As you know, to qualify for the EWSS employers must show a 30% reduction in turnover in comparison to the same period in 2019. Employers are required to review their eligibility on a monthly basis, but this was an internal check. 

On 1 July 2021 Revenue introduced an important change to this review process, where now employers need to submit reports directly to ROS. The purpose of today’s post is to provide an overview of this change and outline the steps you need to take to remain compliant.

EWSS eligibility review from 1 July 2021

From 1 July onwards, to be able to continue benefiting from the EWSS employers are required to complete an “Eligibility Review Form” on ROS. Forms are completed on a monthly basis and must be completed:

  • Between 21st and 30th July for your July submission; and
  • By the 15th of the month for each subsequent submission.

The first time you complete the form you’ll be required to provide details of actual turnover (excluding VAT) for the first 6 months of 2019 and 2021, as well as monthly projections for the remaining 6 months of 2021. Then, on the 15th of each following month, you will need to update the projections with the actual turnover value for the previous month.

Having completed the form, if you are calculated to no longer qualify for EWSS a warning message will appear on ROS, instructing you to cease claiming the subsidy and de-register. Equally, if you fail to complete the form for a given month, your subsidy payment will be suspended until the review form has been completed.

More information on the changes mentioned above can be found in Revenue’s “Guidelines on eligibility for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 July 2021”, released on 9 July 2021. If you have any technical queries about the Eligibility Review Form, you can contact the ROS technical help desk on  01 738 3699, or email them at [email protected]

If you found the above information useful but are not yet a client of SimplePay, you can get in touch with us at [email protected], browse our website or sign up for a free 30-day trial to get an idea of how we can save you time and effort on your payroll! 

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme – Extension Announced

Update 10 June 2021: The system item for EWSS has been updated to allow for the extension.

Today’s blog post will look at the recently announced extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), to 31 December 2021. 

As discussed in previous blog posts, the EWSS is the follow-on program from the previously implemented Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). It represents a substantial and key part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of supporting businesses, encouraging employment and helping to maintain the link between employers and employees.

The scheme represents an important bridge between the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and regular employment, which is the ultimate goal.

It has recently been announced that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended beyond 30 June 2021, until 31 December 2021.

It should be noted that:

  • Current enhanced payment rates will be maintained for Quarter 3 (July, August, September) at current turnover thresholds. 
  • In order to benefit more firms, the time period for assessment will be broadened from the current 6 month period of assessment to a full 12 month period. This will ensure businesses and their workers are supported through the earlier part of the recovery and in recognition of the value of workers maintaining their links to the labour market. 
  • Two important questions have come up recently which have not been resolved, but have been noted and will be considered during the remainder of 2021:
    • whether an employer contribution to employee benefits in terms of the scheme will be required; and 
    • the issue of the appropriate calibration of rates of subsidy for the final quarter of the year. 

The EWSS is seen as a very important part of the re-opening process and it is hoped that it will align incentives with the need for businesses to attract staff and that people benefit from a return to employment.

Our team is already working on the necessary updates to the system which will allow you to apply the EWSS system item to your employees for payslips beyond June 2021 and up to the new end date.

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

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

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

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

New Feature: Bulk Leave Import

We’ve had several requests asking for a way for payroll administrators and leave admins to record leave in bulk and we’re delighted to let you know that this feature is now here! This means that there are now 3 ways for leave to be captured on the system:

  • Employees can request leave via self-service or our mobile app which then gets captured once approved by a leave approver.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can record leave for individual employees via an employee’s profile.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can download an Excel file, complete it with the relevant leave days and upload the file into SimplePay.

For more information on how to use this new feature, head to our help page.

We’re continuing our mission to revolutionise payroll, and in the process make SimplePay the preferred payroll software provider for small and medium sized businesses. We hope that with the additional method for recording leave, every user now has an option that meets their needs.

If you have any queries on how to use the system or any suggestions on how we can better serve your needs, please reach out to us.

Team SimplePay