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Tips and Gratuities – Payroll Considerations and Legislation Changes

Tips and Gratuities Payroll Considerations and Legislation Changes Image

What Are Tips And Gratuities?

Tips and gratuities have been defined as ‘money exchanged from customer to service provider which is not legally required by the agreement for purchase of the service’ (Casey, 1998, as cited in LPC NO. 10, 2018). Generally speaking, they are relatively low value payments given by customers to workers in the service and hospitality industries in excess of the fee due for the transaction which has taken place.  The frequency and value of such payments is entirely up to the customer.

Current Practices In Relation To Tips And Gratuities

Tips and gratuities are not specifically covered under the Payment of Wages Act 1991, however the Revenue Tax & Duty Manual Part 42-04-35A states that tips ‘paid to the employer and subsequently paid out to an employee should be included in pay for the income tax week or month in which they are paid out.’  This means that tips and gratuities paid to the employer and subsequently paid to the employee should be considered as pay for PAYE purposes and taxed accordingly, although the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 prevents employers from including these payments in the calculation of the National Minimum Wage.  A service charge included as part of the bill should also be taxed as pay if it is paid out to an employee, but unlike tips, these payments can be included in the calculation of minimum wage.

From a wider taxation point of view, it’s worth pointing out that a service charge which is shown on the bill is subject to VAT at the reduced rate of 13.5%, however, tips and gratuities offered voluntarily by the customer are outside of the scope of VAT.

Tips And GratuitiesCurrent Issues

Currently there is no legislation which obliges employers to pass on any tips received by them to their staff, therefore a customer has no way of knowing if the tip they left was actually given to the intended recipient(s) and the worker has no protection if their employer chooses to keep some or all of the tips left by customers.

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Proposed New Measures In Relation To Tips And Gratuities

Proposed new measures announced by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, aimed at ensuring employees receive the tips due to them and providing protections for low paid workers, are expected to include the following:

  • The Payment of Wages Act 1991 will be amended to ensure that tips and gratuities cannot be used to make up contractual rates of pay; and
  • Employers will be obliged to clearly display their policy on how tips, gratuities and service charges are distributed.


When Will The New Tips And Gratuities Measures Be Implemented?

It is currently unclear as to how soon the proposed measures will be introduced, however there was an announcement on 8 July 2019 which stated that the Government has given approval on a draft Heads of a Bill to amend the Payment of Wages Act 1991, which allows the Minister’s Department to draft the required legislation.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of Tax professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to provide guidance and the intelligent solutions you need when either setting up, or running a business, in Ireland.  We tailor our offering to your needs, ensuring you receive the best advice at the appropriate time.
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The content above is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide, nor does it constitute, professional advice on any particular matter.

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Benefit in Kind (BIK) – Employer Overview

BIK Benefit In Kind Employer Overview Image | Payroll Services Insights | Financial Services | EisnerAmper Ireland

What Is BIK?

As a general rule, any benefit or perquisite, other than cash, which an employer provides for an employee would be considered a BIK once it has monetary value.  It is the responsibility of the employer to calculate the value of the BIK and deduct the appropriate employment taxes via the PAYE system.  Benefits given to an employee’s spouse or family members would also be considered BIK.

Taxation Of BIK

Tax must be deducted on the actual value of the benefits provided, unless the actual value is not known.  In this case, tax must be deducted on the estimated value of the benefit.

The value of the benefit must be added to the employee’s pay as a notional pay element in the pay period in which the benefit was provided.  PAYE, PRSI and USC are then deducted from the total value of the employee’s pay plus the BIK.  This should then be reported to Revenue in a payroll submission either on or before the date the employee receives their net salary payment.

How Do You Calculate BIK?

Some BIKs have specific rules which must be followed in order to calculate the taxable value.

– Example 1: How To Calculate BIK On A Company Car

The taxable value (known as the cash equivalent) is based on a percentage of the Original Market Value (OMV) of the car, less any discount received when the car was purchased*.  The percentage is dependent upon the number of business kilometres driven by the employee each year, as shown in the following table:

Kilometres Driven (% of OMV)
24,000 and below 30%
24,001 to 32,000 24%
32,001 to 40,000 18%
40,001 to 48,000 12%
48,001 and over 6%


Journeys to and from an employee’s normal place of work are not considered business travel.

Employees who work, on average, at least 20 hours per week, whose business kilometres are between 8,000 and 20,000 km per year and who spend at least 70% of their time away from their normal place of work can avail of a 20% reduction on their cash equivalent value.

– Example 2: How To Calculate BIK On Health Insurance

If you purchase health insurance on behalf of an employee this would be considered a taxable BIK.  Although the amount paid by the employer to the insurer is the net cost of the policy, the value of the BIK for the employee is based on the gross cost. The employee gets tax relief by submitting a claim for a Medical Insurance Relief tax credit via their Revenue account at the end of the tax year.

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Recent BIK Updates

Before PAYE modernisation, corrections to estimated BIK values could be made at any point in the tax year up to the filing of the annual P35 return.  Since 1 January 2019, when the actual value of a benefit becomes known after BIK has been calculated on an estimated amount, the correction must be made in the next available pay period.

BIK vs Non-Taxable Benefits

Although in general all benefits are taxable, there are some exceptions to this rule.  The following non-exhaustive list showcases some of the items which can be provided tax-free, provided certain conditions are met:

  • Expenses – Expenses must be incurred wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the performance of the employee’s duties and must be vouched with receipts.
  • Long Service Awards – The award must be a ‘Tangible Article’, i.e. not cash. The cost to the employer must be less than €50 per year of service and the period of service must be over 20 years. The employee must not have received a similar award within the previous 5 years.
  • Relocation Expenses – Only expenses which are a direct result of the change of residence can be repaid tax-free. More information on Relocation Expenses can be found here.
  • Travel Passes – The travel pass must be issued by a public or private operator who holds a valid licence.
  • Bicycles & Equipment – The cost cannot exceed €1,000 and goods must be purchased from a registered supplier.
  • Phones & Computers – Mobile phones, landlines, internet connections and computer equipment can be provided when primarily for business use.

The information above is for guidance purposes only.  Tax advice should always be sought before providing benefits and reimbursements to employees without deducting employment taxes.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

The taxation of employee benefits can be challenging, particularly for non-resident employers and new businesses, although with continuously evolving legislation all employers should review their practices regularly.

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of payroll professionals and tax advisors are on hand to offer accurate guidance and advice on the taxation of benefits, as well as providing support and payroll processing services to both new startups and established businesses.

Learn more about our Outsourced Payroll Services here.
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*Discounts of more than 10% must be approved by Revenue.

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The content above is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide, nor does it constitute, professional advice on any particular matter.

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Zero Hour Contracts – Employer Update

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What Is A Zero Hour Contract?

A Zero Hour contract is an employment contract that does not guarantee an employee a minimum number of working hours, whilst still requiring the employee to be available for work either for a certain number of hours or when required by the employer (or both).

Zero Hour Contracts vs If And When Contracts

Under a Zero Hour contract there is an obligation on the employer to offer work to the employee and an obligation on the employee to accept the offer of work.  If the employee is not offered hours during the time when they are expected to be available, the employer must compensate the employee.

Alternatively, if an employee and an employer agree a contract that does not oblige either party to provide work or be available for work, this is known as an If and When contract.  As there is no mutuality of obligation, anyone working under an If and When contract could be considered a contractor rather than an employee.

Zero Hour Contract Legislation Update For Employers

Under legislation that came into effect on 4 March 2019, the use of Zero Hour contracts is now restricted in most circumstances. Employers must now inform their staff of the number of hours they would be reasonably expected to work in a normal working day and a normal working week.


Zero Hour contracts can still be used in the following situations:

  • Where there is a casual nature to the employment;
  • During a period of emergency; and
  • When short-term cover for absences is a necessity.

Terms Of Employment

Employers are now obliged to provide workers with a written statement of the five core terms of their employment within five days of starting work.  The terms are:

  • The full names of the employer and employee;
  • The employer’s address;
  • The duration of the contract, including the end date for fixed-term contracts;
  • The rate of pay and method of calculation; and
  • The reasonably expected number of hours in a normal day and week.

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– Zero Hour Contract Minimum Payments

Key elements of the updated legislation relate to minimum payments.  For example, if an employee is not called into work, they are entitled to be paid for 25% of the hours they would have reasonably been expected to work, at a rate of 3 times the national minimum wage.  Therefore, an employee whose contract requires them to be available for 20 hours per week should be paid for a minimum of five hours in the event of not being offered work in any given week.

Banded Hours

Where an employee’s actual number of working hours over a 12 month period is in excess of the hours stated in their contract they can request to be given a Banded Hours contract. A Banded Hours contract guarantees an employee an average number of hours of work within one of the following bands:

Bands of weekly working hours From To
Band A 3 hours 6 hours
Band B 6 hours 11 hours
Band C 11 hours 16 hours
Band D 16 hours 21 hours
Band E 21 hours 26 hours
Band F 26 hours 31 hours
Band G 31 hours 36 hours
Band H 36 hours and over


How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

Payroll administrators in Ireland operate in a heavily regulated space with legislative changes continually coming down the line which add new administrative requirements to existing work practices.

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated outsourced payroll professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to ensure you are fully compliant with current and future legislation, without impacting on the day to day running of your business.

Learn more about our Outsourced Payroll Services here.
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How To Set Up Payroll In Ireland – 5 Key Steps

If you employ staff in Ireland you are obliged to deduct employment taxes which must be reported and paid to Revenue under the PAYE system. Under Revenue’s programme of PAYE modernisation that came into effect 1 January 2019, payroll taxes must now be reported to Revenue on, or before, the date employees get paid. Essentially, having an effective payroll function set up and ready to go from day one is now more of a necessity for new employers in Ireland who wish to ensure compliance with current legislation.

The following are 5 key steps which must be taken ensure that your first pay run goes off without a hitch:

Step 1: Company Incorporation

In step 2 we look at the tax registration process, however, before you can register your company as an employer with Irish Revenue it must first be incorporated and registered with the Irish Companies Registration Office (CRO) by filing a Form A1. A full list of the documents which must be submitted along with the A1 can be found on the CRO website.

Get company incorporation support here.

Some non-resident entities who wish to employ staff members to carry out duties in the state may not be required to register with the CRO, see “Step 2” for more information.

Step 2: Employment Tax Registration

For most companies, registration for Employment Taxes (PREM) with Irish Revenue is carried out by completing a form TR2 which is returned to the regional Revenue Registration Unit relevant to your location.  Tax advisors can complete the registration process on your behalf using an online form which can significantly reduce the processing time.

Non-resident entities who have no physical presence in Ireland can also obtain a PREM registration by completing a form TR2 (FT). There are, however, other tax considerations for non-resident companies with employees in Ireland that should be considered, such as Permanent Establishment for Corporation Tax – for more information contact our Tax specialists.

Information about your obligations when you become registered as an employer can be found here.

Get payroll and employment tax support here.

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Step 3: Become Familiar With Irish Employment Law

You can set up and run a payroll in Ireland without having any prior knowledge of Irish employment law, however, it is definitely beneficial to become familiar with your obligations as an employer along with the basic rights of your employees.  Some of the more common elements of employment law that will affect most, if not all, of your employees are as follows:

  • Minimum Wage
  • Maximum average working hours
  • Annual Leave
  • Maternity / Paternity Leave
  • Public Holidays

The Citizens Information website is a useful resource with further information – read “Employment rights and conditions” here.

Step 4: Choose In-House Or Outsourced Solution

For a new employer with previous experience of processing a payroll in Ireland, it may be helpful to review the latest legislation, purchase the relevant software and incur the associated administrative costs. Some companies, particularly larger operations, could opt to take on a payroll specialist in the first round of hires.  For everyone else, a sensible and cost-effective option is to engage the services of outsourced payroll specialists to provide accurate calculations, meet statutory obligations and effectively manage one of the most critical functions of a fledgling business.

Get specialist outsourced payroll partners – request a quote here.

Step 5: Assess The Suitability Of Your Bank Account

Once calculated, your employment tax liability must be reported to Revenue on, or before, the date you make the payments to your staff.  This liability is then due for payment to Revenue, in most instances by the 23rd day of the following month.  It is still possible to manually make these payments via wire transfer, BACS, EFT etc., however, this process can be automated if your business has a *SEPA compliant bank account.  The BIC and IBAN of your SEPA account is added to your Revenue On-line Service (ROS) profile to create a Debit Instruction which allows Revenue to deduct the funds on the appropriate date.

*Since 2010 every bank account opened in an EU member state is SEPA compliant.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to provide guidance and the intelligent solutions you need when setting up business in Ireland.  As your business grows, we will tailor our offering to ensure your needs are met at every stage of your development.

Learn more about our Outsourced Payroll Services here and our Company Secretarial Services here.
Request a payroll quote or request a callback from our specialists now.

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Ireland & UK Employment Law Compared – 10 Key Considerations

Ireland UK employment law compared - 10 key differences

Employment law in Ireland is broadly similar to its UK equivalent, which is good news for employers operating in both jurisdictions, and is particularly attractive to UK businesses looking for a European base as part of their Brexit strategy. There are, however, numerous differences which prospective employers should consider before setting up their Irish operation.

1. Minimum Wage In Ireland vs The UK

The National Minimum Wage in Ireland, as of 1 January 2019, is €9.80 per hour for all employees aged 20 or over. For workers under the age of 20, their entitlement is based on a percentage of the National Minimum Wage – learn more about Irish National Minimum Wage rates here.

In the UK, from April 2019 the National Living Wage is £8.21 per hour for employees aged 25 and over. Under 25s must be paid either the Apprentice rate of £3.90 per hour, or the appropriate National Minimum Wage rate for their age bracket. Learn more about UK National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates here.

2. Irish And UK Public Holidays

Ireland has nine public holidays each year (often referred to as ‘Bank Holidays’), while England & Wales have eight. Scotland has nine, although the dates can vary from region to region, while in Northern Ireland there are 10 officially recognised public holidays per year.

3. Annual Leave Entitlements Compared

Under UK law, workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave, which equals 28 days for someone who works a standard five-day week. Public holidays can be included in this calculation.

Under Irish legislation, employees have a basic annual leave entitlement of four weeks, which does not include public holidays.

In both countries, part-time workers are entitled to a pro-rata equivalent of the full-time rate.

4. Sick Pay Entitlements In Ireland vs UK

Under Irish employment law, there is no statutory entitlement to be paid by your employer while on sick leave. Instead, Illness Benefit can be claimed from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

UK employers are obliged to pay their eligible staff Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for a period of up to 28 weeks.

Annual leave is still accrued during periods of sick leave in both Ireland and the UK.

5. Differences Between Irish And UK Maternity And Paternity Leave

In Ireland, the maternity leave entitlement is 26 weeks of paid leave, with the option of claiming a further 16 weeks of unpaid leave. This is quite different to the UK, where maternity leave is 52 weeks with 39 weeks paid. Fathers in both countries are entitled to two weeks paid paternity leave.

As with SSP, maternity and paternity pay in the UK is paid by the employer, while Irish employees must claim the equivalent from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

6. PAYE Systems

The UK introduced Real Time Information (RTI) for reporting payments and deductions made under the PAYE system in April 2014, with information being transmitted to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each time an employee is paid.

Under the PAYE modernisation programme, the Irish Revenue Commissioners (“Revenue”) launched a similar system in January 2019. Irish workers can now view an up to the minute record of their year-to-date pay and tax information via an online Revenue account.

7. UK vs Ireland Employee Tax Considerations

Ireland UK employment law differences image

Company cars are taxed differently in the two countries, with tax in the UK calculated on ‘the value to you of the company car’. Once calculated, the employer must report this to HMRC using an online form P11D.

In Ireland employees pay Benefit in Kind (BIK) through payroll on a percentage of the Original Market Value (OMV) of their company car, with the percentage dependent on the number of business miles travelled.

Medical Insurance purchased by an employer is taxable through payroll as a BIK in Ireland, while this is also reported via the P11D system in the UK.

The amount of tax relief available to an employee in the UK is adjusted to capture the tax due on the benefits reported in the P11D for the previous tax year.

8. Pension Considerations For UK And Irish Payroll

Employers in the UK have to provide a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol their staff into it. Employees do have the right to opt out, although they must be re-enrolled every three years. Currently in Ireland there is no obligation on employers to provide an occupational pension scheme, although they are obliged to offer staff access to a type of pension known as a PRSA. There are plans to introduce auto enrolment in Ireland along similar lines to the UK, with a proposed launch date of 2022.

9. Gender Pay Gap Reporting

UK employers with over 250 employees are obliged to submit an annual report to the government showing the difference between the average hourly wage of all men and women in their organisation.  This information is uploaded to the government via an online portal and must be published on the company’s website. The Irish government is planning to introduce similar legislation and has suggested that it will ultimately apply to all employers with over 50 staff. No implementation date has yet been set in Ireland for this. Learn more about gender pay gap reporting in Ireland here.

10. Useful Tax Relief Opportunities When Moving To Ireland

When setting up an Irish company it is sometimes necessary for an employer to redeploy experienced staff from other countries to Ireland, which can be costly.  To assist with this there are tax reliefs available for the employer and employee.

Relocation tax relief allows employers to cover the costs associated with the removal and relocation of inbound employees without incurring a tax liability, while Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) is a relief aimed at reducing the amount of PAYE payable by higher earners.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of outsourced payroll professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to provide guidance and advice to employers setting up in Ireland for the first time.  We also provide ongoing support and payroll processing services to organisations at every stage of their development.

Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.
Request a payroll quote or request a callback from our specialists now.

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Employee Relocation Tax Relief – Moving to Ireland

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Removal and Relocation Expenses Overview for Employers

Workforce Global Mobility is an increasingly common consideration for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions and can result in significant increases to staffing costs, over and above the standard payroll and employment tax considerations. Hiring staff from overseas is also increasingly common, which can create challenges for the employer. Covering the costs associated with relocation is standard practice when transferring employees to Ireland. However, there are various tax implications that must be taken into account at the planning stage to minimise potential liabilities.

Revenue’s Tax and Duty Manual Part 05-02-03, Removal and Relocation Expenses, notes:

"The taxation of certain removal and relocation expenses should be relaxed in genuine cases of employees having to incur expenses to move to a new employment location, where the payment made by the employer towards the expenses results in no net overall benefit to the employee." 

Tax-Free Employee Subsistence Expenses

As is the case with all expense reimbursements, Revenue require payments to be matched with receipted expenditure, with the exception of temporary subsistence allowances. Employers are permitted to pay a temporary subsistence allowance to employees while they are looking for accommodation in their new location. The amount allowable is based on 10 nights at the Civil Service Rates (up to €147 per night).

It is important to note that the amount reimbursed cannot be greater than the cost borne by the employee.

Employee Relocation Tax Relief Conditions

According to Revenue, the following are the conditions that must be satisfied to allow removal and relocation expenses to be paid tax-free:

- there are actual removal and relocation expenses;
- the expenses are for a reasonable amount;
- the payment of the expenses is properly controlled; and
- moving house is necessary.

What Relocation Expenses Can Be Claimed Back?

There is no definitive list of the expenses which can be claimed back tax-free, so it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that any payments meet the prescribed conditions, however, some of the more common items include:

  • Costs associated with moving house, such as auctioneer’s fees, solicitor’s fees & stamp duty; and
  • Costs associated with movement of furniture, including storage, transportation, insurance & cleaning.

Travelling expenses may also be included, along with up to three months of vouched rent in temporary accommodation (both rent and temporary subsistence cannot be paid).

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What Relocation Expenses Cannot Be Claimed Back?

Payments towards the cost of purchasing or building a house cannot be paid tax-free, and similarly, amounts paid towards either loans or bridging loan interest would also be considered taxable pay.

Records Needed for Employee Relocation Tax Relief

As previously noted, all relocation payments (other than temporary subsistence) must be matched with receipted expenditure, so any relevant receipts, invoices, statements and proofs of purchase must be kept by the employer.  All such records must be retained for a period of six years from the tax year-end to which the records refer.

Related payroll insights article: SARP For Employers.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of outsourced payroll professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to assist employers seeking the most beneficial solutions to their global mobility problems.  From planning to execution, we can provide expert advice and insight every step of the way.

Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.
Request a payroll quote or request a callback from our specialists now.

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Gender Pay Gap Reporting

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Under legislation that came into effect in April 2017, UK employers with more than 250 employees are required to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap. The Irish government has recently published a similar draft bill (view the proposed Irish gender pay gap bill here), which is expected to be enacted in the near future and will make gender pay gap reporting a requirement for certain Irish businesses. The bill is currently before Dáil Éireann (in the third stage) and the status, in addition to the history, of the proposed gender pay gap bill can be accessed via

We outline below some key information and points of note that organisations should take into consideration in their preparation for this potential new business requirement.

“Gender Pay Gap” Definition

According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, gender pay gap “represents the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of female and male employees.” Source:

What Is Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap & How Do We Compare With The EU?

Eurostat’s 2016 Gender Pay Gap Statistics Report notes that the gender pay gap in Ireland is 13.9%, which means that on average women get paid €86.10 for every €100 paid to their male counterparts. Although Ireland ranks 11th of 28 in the EU (, 2016), and is below the average of 16.2%, it is still some way off the lowest EU gender pay gap which was recorded in Romania with an average of 5.2%.

Gender Pay Gap vs Equal Pay

The gender pay gap is the disparity between average earnings of men and women in an organisation while equal pay means that men and women performing the same role must receive the same rate of pay. If a majority of senior positions in an organisation are filled by men (or women), there will be a gender pay gap, even if the equal pay laws have not been broken.

What Is Gender Pay Gap Reporting?

Gender pay gap reporting is the obligation to publish detailed annual reports highlighting an organisation’s pay differences across a range of metrics.

What Is The Objective Of Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting?

The objective of mandatory gender pay gap reporting is to highlight any discrepancies that may exist between the average pay of male and female employees across medium-large sized organisations. Ultimately, according to the Department of Justice and Equality, the goal is to remove the barriers which prevent the advancement of full socio-economic equality for women.

Who Does The Gender Pay Gap Legislation Affect?

Initially, the proposed legislation will affect companies that have 250+ employees, although the government plans to eventually extend the obligation to organisations with 50+ employees.

When Will The Legislation Come into Effect?

A date has not yet been set, which should provide employers the opportunity to take steps to address requirements before reporting becomes mandatory.

Image with reports and laptop | Gender Pay Gap Reporting | Outsourced Payroll Service Experts

What Information Will Likely Be Required In Your Gender Pay Gap Report?

Under the draft legislation, gender pay gap reports will have to include a wide range of statistics. When looked at in conjunction with the UK’s gender pay reporting requirements, it is likely that employers will have to report on the gender differences in:

  1. Gross hourly pay;
  2. Bonus payments;
  3. Part-time / temporary contracts;
  4. Benefits in kind; and
  5. Employees across four quartiles.

What To Do With Your Completed Gender Pay Gap Report

Similar to the UK, it is likely that completed gender pay reports will be required to be published on the company’s website and uploaded via an online portal, the exact details of which are yet to be revealed.

Non-Compliance With Gender Pay Gap Reporting Requirements

It is expected that fines will be levied against firms that fail to comply with their reporting obligations. Reputational damage may also potentially serve as a deterrent to non-compliance.

Ensure Gender Pay Gap Compliance

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of outsourced payroll professionals possess the tools and the expertise to analyse your payroll data and produce detailed reports highlighting the current gender pay gap in your organisation. From this, we can highlight key areas to address, which will allow your HR function to develop a strategy to address any imbalances and make year on year improvements in your gender pay gap report.
Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.
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Auto Enrolment – What Employers and Employees Can Expect

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What Is Auto Enrolment?

Auto Enrolment is a retirement savings scheme which, if implemented, will be mandatory for all employees between the ages of 23 and 60, earning over €20,000 per annum who do not already contribute to a workplace pension. Launching in 2022 on a phased basis, it is expected that the government will incentivise the scheme by contributing €1 for every €3 saved by the employee.

Why Is “A New Automatic Enrolment Savings System” Being Explored?

According to the government only 35% of Irish private sector employees have a supplementary pension, which means that a significant percentage of the population will not have the adequate savings necessary to sustain their pre-retirement standard of living into old age. The concern is that the pension system in its current form is not sustainable and requires significant reform in order to meet the long-term demands of the working population. Auto Enrolment is one of the measures outlined in the Government’s “Roadmap for Pensions Reform” which sets out the actions required to overhaul the approach to providing for pension income in retirement.

Auto Enrolment – What Employers Can Expect

To minimise the potential increased administrative burden on employers when implementing Auto Enrolment, the Government has announced there will be supports available during the roll-out phase. Employers will be responsible for enrolling their employees into the scheme, and for remitting the pension contributions to a state-run ‘Central Processing Authority’ (CPA), although there are currently no plans to involve employers in the selection of their employees’ Registered Provider or savings fund option. Employers will have to match their employees’ contributions (up to 6% of pensionable pay, with a ceiling of €75,000) and their contributions will be deductible for corporation tax. According to the “Strawman Proposal”, penalties will be levied on employers who fail to implement the scheme, which could lead to prosecution for repeat offenders.

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Auto Enrolment – What Employees Can Expect

Under the current proposal, employees can choose a preferred savings option from a range of Registered Providers, however, those who do not exercise this choice will be provided with a fund and provider by default. Although employees will be enrolled automatically, they will be permitted to opt-out at the end of a minimum period, which is currently proposed to be “during the 7th and 8th month of membership” (read the Strawman Proposal for more details). Importantly for employees, there will be a facility to transfer their account between employments.

Expected New Employer Tasks If/When Auto Enrolment Is Introduced

Based on the latest information, employers will be required to:

  • Identify the employees eligible for enrolment;
  • Arrange the deduction of employee contributions;
  • Match the employee contributions; and
  • Remit the payments to the CPA.

How EisnerAmper Ireland Can Help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated outsourced payroll team combines in-depth knowledge of the Irish payroll landscape with market leading software to create solutions to meet our clients’ unique requirements. We leverage this expertise to support employers through all phases of Auto Enrolment, from initial implementation to the deduction and reporting of employee contributions.

Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.
Request a payroll quote or request a callback from our specialists now.

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PAYE Modernisation

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What is PAYE modernisation?

PAYE modernisation is a fundamental change to the current system of reporting PAYE deductions to Revenue and represents the most significant update to the PAYE system since its inception in 1960.  The new regime is designed to meet the demands of today’s workforce by utilising modern communication technologies to enable “real time” reporting of employee’s payroll data.  Traditional payroll returns, such as the P30, P46 and P35 will become obsolete, as will paper forms of P45 and P60.

The objective of PAYE modernisation

“The objective of PAYE Modernisation is that Revenue, employers and employees will have the most accurate, up to date information relating to pay and tax deductions. This will ensure that the right tax deduction is made at the right time from the right employees, and that employers pay over the correct tax deduction and contribution for every employee. This will improve the accuracy, ease of understanding, and transparency of the PAYE system for all stakeholders.”

(Source: – PAYE Modernisation – Report on Public Consultation Process.)

The benefits of PAYE modernisation

For employers, reporting pay, tax and other deductions in real time (i.e. when the payroll is being processed) will alleviate the administrative burden associated with the processing of a payroll year-end.  Changes to employee’s tax credits and rate bands will be automated which will eliminate the possibility of deducting an incorrect amount of tax.

Employees will benefit from the ability to view accurate, up-to-date information relating to their PAYE deductions anytime via their online Revenue myAccount.  Real-time data will assist Revenue in ensuring that employees get the full benefit of their entitlements during the year, particularly where an individual has a number of employments.

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How employers & payroll personnel can prepare for PAYE modernisation

Employers, and those responsible for the provision of payroll services, should review their current practices in readiness for the upcoming changes.  As with all largescale changes, stakeholder engagement is key to ensuring that all those affected are aware of their evolving obligations. Payroll processes will need to be streamlined and a greater focus placed on quality, as the submission of payroll data must be made on, or before, the employee’s pay date.

New requirements arising from PAYE modernisation

The main requirements to ensure a frictionless transition include:

  • Payroll software must be compliant with the new system;
  • Employees will need to register for a Revenue myAccount to manage their tax affairs; and
  • An accurate list of employees must be uploaded to Revenue via ROS.

How EisnerAmper Ireland can help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of outsourced payroll professionals possess the tools and the expertise to process your payroll accurately and efficiently.  We utilise market leading software to ensure compliance and our staff are highly trained and fully prepared to meet the challenges that PAYE modernisation may bring.

Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.

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SARP for Employers

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What is SARP relief?

SARP (Special Assignee Relief Programme) is an Income Tax relief available to certain individuals who have been assigned by a relevant employer to work in Ireland, either for that employer or an associated company of that employer.  The relief can be claimed for five consecutive tax years and is currently available to qualifying employees arriving in the years up to, and including, 2020.  The aim of SARP relief is to encourage multinational employers to redeploy talented employees into key positions within Ireland.

SARP conditions of qualification – what employers need to know

SARP can be claimed by employees who meet the following criteria:

  • The employee must have worked for their relevant employer outside of Ireland for the six months immediately prior to being employed here;
  • They must be contracted to work in Ireland for a minimum period of 12 months from the date they are first assigned here;
  • They must not have been tax resident in Ireland for the five years immediately prior to being assigned here;
  • They must be tax resident in Ireland for all of the years in which they claim SARP relief; and
  • Their basic salary must be a minimum of €75,000 per year.

It is important to note that employees who avail of SARP cannot claim any of the following:

  • Foreign Earnings Deduction;
  • Cross Border Relief; and
  • Research & Development Relief.

SARP for employers – how to calculate SARP

Under SARP relief, 30% of all income* over a threshold of €75,000 is exempt from income tax. For example; an employee who is paid €175,000 will not pay income tax on €30,000 of that income (€175,000 – €75,000 x 30%).  The marginal rate of income tax is 40%, so the value of the relief in this instance would be €12,000.

  • The exemption can be spread proportionately across the year, so the threshold for a monthly paid employee is €6,250 per month.
  • Expense reimbursements and any amounts contributed into pension schemes cannot be included in the calculations for SARP.
  • The exemption is limited to income tax only, so USC and PRSI should be deducted as normal.

The cost of one return trip for the employee and his or her family to their home country can be claimed tax free from their employer, as well as up to €5,000 per child for Irish school fees.

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SARP application – how to claim SARP

The employer must apply for SARP relief by completing a Form SARP 1A and submitting it to Revenue within 90 days of the employee’s arrival in the country.  If more than one employee is claiming SARP, the employer must submit a separate Form SARP 1A for each employee.

Employer / employee SARP reporting

Employers are obliged to file a SARP Employer Return, containing the pay and tax details for each SARP employee, to Revenue by 23 February following the year end in which SARP was claimed.

SARP employees are considered ‘chargeable persons for self-assessment’ by Revenue, which means they must file a Form 11 (Income Tax Return) to Revenue by 31 October following the year in which SARP was claimed.

How EisnerAmper Ireland can help

At EisnerAmper Ireland, our dedicated team of outsourced payroll professionals possess the knowledge and experience required to assist employers claiming SARP relief for their staff.  From the initial application process and the monthly calculations, right through to the filing of the employer return, we can provide expert advice and insight every step of the way.

Our income tax specialists are also on hand should your employees require any advice and assistance with their income tax filing obligations. Learn more about our outsourced payroll services here.

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* From 1 January 2019 the government plan to introduce a ceiling of €1 million on eligible income.

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