Sage Payroll – Returning To Work After Covid-19 Lockdown/Layoff
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the country now entered into phase 3, many businesses which have been closed will be re-opening. Whether your business has been completely closed for a while and your payroll has been fully inactive, or you’ve been partially opened with some staff on the payroll, its likely that you will be re-joining some or all staff to the payroll shortly. If this applies to you then there are a few things to consider before moving forward with your next pay period. This article will touch on the various scenarios you might find yourself in, and endeavor to steer you in the right direction.
Return to Work Process:
Whether your returning some or all of your employees to the payroll, the process will involve the steps listed here. See notes further down pertaining to each step.
- Check Your Sage Payroll Software Version
- Advise Returning Employees to sign off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- Check Employee Status
- Re-Instate Leavers (Where Necessary)
- Joining the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme?
- Download Employee RPN’s
- Enter Time & Pay
- Submit the Payroll to Revenue
- Leaving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
1. Check Your Sage Payroll Software [Full] Version No:
The current full version number of Sage Payroll is V188.8.131.521 (also referred to as build number) Whether your re-activating your payroll after months of being off, or simply re-joining staff to your already active payroll, you will need to make sure you are on this version number. To check this simply log into you software, then click Help\About from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Lots of information will be displayed, but the first item in the list is ‘Version Number’. This is the number you need to check. If your version number is already 184.108.40.2061, then you don’t need to do anything. However if you are not on version 220.127.116.111 then you need to update your software before processing your next period. You can download the 18.104.22.1681 update here For instructions on how to apply the update see our previous article: Update Sage Payroll (Micropay).
2. Advise Returning Employees to Sign Off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP):
In all cases, where the employee had been claiming the PUP directly from the DEASP for the duration they had been off work, they now need to sign themselves off of that payment. Click here to read full details of how to do that on the Gov.ie website.
3. Check Employee Status:
You need to check employees to see what their current status is. You need to identify whether the employee was officially terminated in the payroll [or not] after their last payment in this payroll. Some payroll operators will just know what the status of each employee is, but if you need to check this, simply click Edit Employees, choose the employee in question, and click on the ‘Tax/PRSI/USC’ Tab at the top of the screen. Check if the Finished Date & Finish Period have been filled in. Depending on whats filled in, each employee will be either: Not Teminated, Suspended or Terminated.
- Not Terminated: If the Finish Date is empty and the & Finish Period is zero then it means that the employment was not officially terminated. There is no action need here, just process payment for the employee as normal.
- Suspended: If the Finish Date is empty and the & Finish Period is ’99’ then it means that the employment was suspended. To remove the suspension, simply remove the ’99’ from the Finish Period, save the employee and then process payment for the employee as normal.
- Terminated: If the Finish Date & Finish Period field are filled in, then it means that the employee was officially terminated. This will have been conveyed to Revenue during a submission. The action needed here is to re-instate the employee before processing payment for the employee. See note below on how to re-instate a leaver.
4. Re-Instate Leavers (Where Necessary):
You can re-instate a leaver by either using the ‘Re-Instate Leaver’ feature under the Processing menu at the top of the screen, or by editing certain fields directly in the Employee Details. Both methods are explained in this Sage Article here. A point to note when re-instating a leaver is that the Employment ID must be incremented after re-instating. This is a requirement by Revenue.
5. Joining the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme?
If your business is joining the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme now, then at this point you need to read through our previous article regarding Processing Payroll under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to familiarise yourself with the process. After working through that article, return to this point and continue on in this process. Click here to open our previous article. You will also need to familiarise yourself with the contents of Revenues TWSS Operational Guide & FAQ Document, which can be accessed here. This document is continuously being updated by Revenue.
If your business is already processing payroll under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and you are familiar with the process, at this point you need to import the Revenue Average Net Pay from your ROS file, for returning employees.
6. Download Employee RPNS:
Download employee RPNs as usual. If your software encounters an issue communicating with the ROS system, first check if you can login to the ROS website. If you cannot login to the the ROS website then investigate if there is an issue with the ROS system or with your ROS cert. If you think your ROS cert has become out of date, you can follow the instructions here to renew your ROS digital cert.
We can advise that we have seen in recent weeks where there were no RPNs available for employees where the payroll operator was expecting a new/updated RPN. In some of these cases employees had seen more than one employment listed for the same employer in their ‘MyAccount’ at Revenue. Employees should make sure that the correct employment is the ‘active’ one, and that their tax credits are assigned to that one.
7. Enter Time & Pay:
You can enter Time & Pay in your normal way, whether that be manual entries or by file import. If the employee has not been paid for a while then you could expect some refund of statutory deductions in this period. (eg: Tax, USC). Please note that from the 20th June 2020, Revenue have been issuing RPNs on a Week1 basis. A Week 1 tax status will disallow refund of statutory deductions (Tax/USC), in an effort to reduce the impact of the re-payment of tax/USC by the employee at the end of the year.
8. Submit the Payroll to Revenue:
When your payments are complete and you are happy with your payroll, you can submit your payroll to Revenue using the ‘Send Payroll Submission’ button. If you are processing under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for the first time please be aware that Revenue are not in support of re-submissions of payrolls containing Wage Subsidies. If you find yourself needing to carry out a re-submission at any point, you will need to discuss this with revenue first.
9. Leaving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme:
We are noticing some business now leaving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. Employers who no longer wish to avail of the TWSS, should cease returning J9 PRSI Class payroll submissions to Revenue. Employers should also inform Revenue via MyEnquiries of their intention to exit the scheme and ensure the employee J9 PRSI Class (J9 submissions) is reverted on future payroll submissions for each employee to their normal PRSI class (Pre-Covid-19). Those employers who have stopped participating in the TWSS will be included in the reconciliation phase of the scheme and will be included in the list of TWSS participants published at the end of the scheme. If the business as a whole is leaving the scheme, be sure to un-tick the Covid-19 tickbox on the Covid-19 subsidy pay element in the pay elements list. You can access the list from the Company/Payroll option at the top of the screen, then choose ‘Payments’. You should also remove the formula from the Formula’ field to stop the subsidy amount from automatically calculating on timesheets.