I had the pleasure of attending the annual Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) conference on 11th May 2017 in Croke Park Dublin. IPASS is Ireland’s premier provider of Payroll and VAT training and certification. The conference included presentations from IPASS, the Revenue Commissioners and PWC.

Here are some helpful key points that were discussed/highlighted on the day:

1. GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – This issue is highly topical at the moment. The regulation will come into effect on the 25th of May, 2018. If you are a registered Data Processor or Data Controller you need to be ready to conform to the policy by this date. This regulation will impact any information we hold on payroll, accounts, and any information on our database relating to clients, suppliers and candidates/temps.

2. New Revenue Website – During the first week in June 2017, the Revenue Commissioners will be launching a brand new website. Revenue has done research into how websites are generally used to ensure that their new look web pages are user-friendly and easy to navigate. They have spent time removing jargon and converting technical speak into a straight forward narrative. This should make registering employment, resolving tax queries, etc. more simplistic. Revenue has acknowledged however that not everyone is IT literate and they will still need to be prepared to answer phone calls and postal correspondence.

3. Illness Benefit – There was a lot of discussion around the processing of illness benefit. The consensus is that the processing of this on behalf of Welfare and Revenue is problematic at employer and payroll processing level. Revenue does not envisage the system changing in the near future, but they are looking to make the notification process simpler whereby the issuance of a letter through the ROS portal may be replaced with a CSV file showing all applicable employees. The major problem for processing at the moment is where a payroll bureau is in operation (similar to what we do for our client payrolls), the illness benefit letter is not received into the agent link inbox on ROS.

4. MyEnquiries – It was raised with Revenue that the turnaround time for responses through its MyEnquiries portal is too slow and that 20 – 25 days is not an acceptable response rate.

5. Pensions – It was raised that where an employee has a pension deduction from their salary they must be advised in writing at least once a month of the following: The total amount deducted from the employee’s salary and paid to the PRSA provider (this is covered on the face of the payslip).

6. Retirement Date in Contract – There is no mandatory retirement age set down in law. If retirement age is included in an employment contract employers must be able to demonstrate that they have objectively justified the age giving consideration to the following: promoting access to employment for younger people, ensuring a mix of generations of staff so as to promote the exchange of experience and new ideas, efficient planning of staff departure/recruitment, Safety (workplace or public), avoiding dispute’s about the employee’s fitness for work over a certain age, avoiding the need to dismiss employees on the ground that they are no longer capable of doing the job which may be humiliating for the employee concerned. The overriding concern from those in attendance at the conference was that by having a compulsory retirement age you may be creating a scenario where you must retire at 65 but may not be eligible to receive your state pension until 67 or 68 leaving an income gap.

7. PAYE Modernisation – Revenue is moving towards “Real-time” reporting which will mean that each monthly return will have the ability to report each employee’s earnings, tax, etc. This form of reporting will reportedly remove the need for P30’s, P45’s, P46’s, P60’s and P35’s.

Contact our Sligo Office to find out about our Payroll Services.

Fiona Collery,

Payroll Manager (FCCA),

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group