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Improved working hours for employees 2018

Minister Doherty brings legislation that will improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees to Second Stage in the Dáil
Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty, T.D. has today (14th February 2018) commenced the Second Stage debate on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 in the Dáil.

The objective of the Bill is to improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. It follows the publication of the University of Limerick study on zero-hour contracts and low-hour contracts, as well as an extensive public consultation process and in-depth discussions with ICTU and IBEC over a number of months.

Commenting on the Bill, Minister Doherty said: “This Bill will apply to all employers across all sectors of the economy. It is important, therefore, that we strike a fair balance between the respective rights and obligations of employees and employers. Our approach in this Bill is to try to ensure that where we are introducing new rights for employees, or strengthening existing provisions in the law, the measures are proportionate and balanced.

“The vast majority of employers are honourable in their treatment of their employees, and meet their responsibilities under employment law. These employers should have nothing to fear in this Bill. On the contrary, the Bill is aimed at tackling exploitative employment arrangements, and employers who do not respect even the most basic rights of employees.”

The Bill addresses five key issues where employment law should be strengthened for the benefit of employees, without imposing unnecessarily onerous burdens on employers. The Bill will:

Ensure that employees are better informed about the nature of their employment arrangements and, in particular, their core terms at an early stage of their employment. A new offence is being created where employers fail to comply with the new information requirements.
Strengthen the provisions around minimum payments to low-paid vulnerable employees who may be called in to work for a period, but not provided with that work.
Prohibit zero hour contracts, except in specific limited circumstances.
Ensure that employees on low hour contracts who consistently work more hours each week than provided for in their contracts, are entitled to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the reality of the hours they have worked on a consistent basis over an extended period.

Strengthen the anti-penalisation provisions for employees who invoke, or try to invoke, a right that is specified in legislation.
The Minister said: “Each of the key measures in this Bill individually, and in the round, will help protect employees from being exploited by ‘if and when’ contracts. The banded hours provision will apply to them, as will the new minimum compensation provisions, and the anti-penalisation provisions that gives them recourse to the WRC.”

The Minister concluded: “This is an important piece of legislation which will genuinely help those employed in precarious situations. I look forward to working with Deputies and Senators to ensure that it is enacted as soon as possible.”
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Emergency Tax and Emergency USC

Providing a PPS number to your new employer when you commence employment is essential, if you want to avoid paying tax at the high, emergency rate.

Moreover, providing your new employer with a P45 (from your previous employer), or if you don’t have a P45, registering your new employment on Revenue’s MyAccount Service is important, to steer clear of the highest rate of USC kicking in on your first pay check.

40% Tax

Regulation 22 (Pay As You Earn Regulations) obliges an employer, who does not receive a PPS number for a new employee to calculate tax due on the employee’s pay at the higher rate of tax, 40%. In addition, the employee receives no tax credits to reduce the liability.

For example: On an employee’s first pay day, where no PPS has been provided her tax is calculated as follows:

Pay Day 1
Gross pay €470
Tax at the highest rate 40% €188
Tax credit €0
8% USC

Regulation 21 (from the Universal Social Charge Regulations in 2011) applies where an employer does not hold either a certificate of tax credits or a P45 from a former employer. USC at the highest rate (8% for 2018) is deductible from all pay made to the employee in these circumstances

Pay Day 1
Gross Pay €470
USC at the highest rate 8% €37.60

Therefore, the above employee that didn’t supply a PPS number, certificate of tax credits, or a P45 would lose 48% of their pay to Tax and USC. From a gross pay of €470 their payslip would be reduced to €244.40

(Further deductions will then be made for PRSI. Pay Related Social Insurance)

Clear Group support clients and their employees is obtaining payroll tax efficiencies. From ensuring that employees provide ample information to maximise their net pay, to advising on payroll options for employers, to manage high payroll and tax costs, we advise and support our clients.

Contact Clear Group today on 01 968 0663

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The Advantages of Outsourcing your Payroll

Managing payroll in-house often requires an individual, or a team, with a thorough knowledge of workings of the Irish PAYE tax system. If your business doesn’t have these skills in-house, you can organise your payroll by outsourcing it – typically to an accountancy firm or bookkeeper such as Clear Group, based in Balbriggan Co. Dublin, Ireland.

We offer payroll outsourcing services to Irish SME’s, Start Up Companies and Multinational companies.

Apart from removing the regular stress that payroll compliance inevitably brings, outsourcing your payroll can be a perfect business solution that can bring considerable benefits in terms of lower costs, efficiency and attaching payroll expertise to the business

The advantages of outsourcing your payroll

- Gives you peace of mind
By outsourcing your payroll to a trusted payroll provider, you and your team can get peace of mind, resulting in a better focus on company growth and improved productivity.

Using a trusted, reliable and professional provider to process your payroll, will give you, and your staff, the reassurance and confidence that your payroll responsibilities are being properly and efficiently discharged.

- Minimises your risks of fines, penalties and inspections
The financial penalties for failures to meet PAYE compliance regulations, especially under the latest regulations, can not only be severe but will involve wasted management time, employee dissatisfaction and vulnerability to costly Revenue Inspections.

It is difficult, especially for smaller businesses, to engage, train and retain suitably reliable, qualified or skilled staff, and inadequately trained staff can lead to expensive mistakes and penalties for non-compliance – new and part-time staff, especially, leaves you extremely vulnerable to be penalised.

- Saves you substantially on software, manpower and consumables costs
Software costs – Payroll programs have an initial acquisition and installation cost. Not to forget the ‘learning curve’ and ‘time costs’ as your company’s staff grapple with how the program works. Then add that to the hassle of adding the annual updates (tax codes, rates, etc) and annual software support subscriptions. The overall cost of maintaining a payroll in-house can become more expensive than you might realise.

- Staff costs – Payroll staff costs can be considerable when including their wages, cover for holidays, sickness, maternity, etc. . Inadequately trained staff can lead to expensive mistakes and penalties for non-compliance – new and part-time staff, especially, leaves you extremely vulnerable and this is where payroll outsourcing takes the upper hand.

- Security – Outsourcing also takes away the time and hassle of regularly backing up the payroll data along with the internal security issues relating to the handling of sensitive individual records.

- Leaves you free to do what you do best – run your business
Why get involved with the ever increasing load of regulations that make payroll operation exceedingly complex and time-consuming. Outsourcing your payroll frees up your time to focus on what you are best at – on what’s important in your business and on what really adds value to your bottom line.

- Saves time and is efficient
When you outsource payroll to a company like Clear Group, we will do the job efficiently and cost effectively. One of the top advantages of outsourcing payroll is it saves time. When you outsource, your staff will be free from doing payroll related work like calculating pay and deductions and spend their time on more value generating activities within your company.

Why not call us today so we can make a real difference to your business.

Call Clear Group to discuss on 01 9680663 or click here

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It is estimated that the average worker upon investigation, is likely to be owed €880 in overpaid tax. Often, one of the main areas, where people forget to claim back tax, is in their medical expenses.

Tax can be claimed back for up to 4 years after the expense has been incurred. This year, make a point of seeking a refund from Revenue, for your medical expenses. You can do this as part of your own self assessed income tax return, or through Revenue’s MYACCOUNT portal.

Qualifying medical expenses include:

Doctor’s and consultant’s fees
Diagnostic procedures
Drugs prescribed by your doctor, dentist or consultant
Hospital treatment
Costs associated with medical equipment, advised by your GP or consultant
Physiotherapy and other treatment recommended by your GP
While routine dental work is exempt from tax relief, specialised dental treatment does allow for 20% relief. Your dentist will know, and provide you with the correct form, to make a claim, if that is possible.

Clear Group provide Tax Back, and Income Tax Return services. Call Tom to discuss.
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