The Irish government has been busy over the past few months. An exceptional range of updates to employment law have either just come into effect or are due for introduction later this year. 

Keeping up with ever-changing payroll and HR regulations can be difficult at the best of times – and the past few years have been anything but. This is why we’ve put together a roundup of the seven key Irish legislation changes that you should be aware of in 2022 and beyond. 

With this many topics to cover, we’ve split this blog into two parts. Be sure to check back soon for the sequel. 

1. Revenue data compliance post-pandemic 

Since 2019, Revenue’s data compliance team has been analysing the payroll data provided through PAYE submissions for risk assessment purposes. 

Due to the many business challenges brought about by the pandemic, Revenue scaled down the level of compliance analysis it undertook over the last 24 months. 

However, as response to the pandemic has become more manageable, Revenue has once again begun ramping up compliance checks. Here’s a reminder of the 10 core validation checks performed and each individual test number:

Revenue Test Number Test Performed 
Emergency tax basis but no income tax paid 
2Emergency tax basis with Revenue Payroll Notification reported 
6Gross pay < pay for income tax 
7Gross pay < pay for Universal Social Charge 
14Universal Social Charge exempt but Universal Social Charge paid 
16Pay for Universal Social Charge < pay for income tax 
19Negative gross pay 
20Pay for Universal Social Charge ≠
≠ pay for employee Pay Related Social Insurance 
22No Personal Public Service Number but Universal Social Charge paid < 8% 
23No Personal Public Service Number but income tax paid < 40% 

To ensure you’re prepared for closer scrutiny, we recommend that you make sure that your payroll technology has the in-built features to undertake the above validation checks regularly and allows you to review and amend your data prior to Revenue’s audits. 

2. Two new public holidays 

Just last month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar announced that from 2023, a new public holiday will be introduced to celebrate St Brigid’s Day. The public holiday will be held annually on the first Monday in February, meaning it will be celebrated for the first time in 2023 on Monday, 6 February. 

In addition, the Tánaiste announced another one-off public holiday to be held this year, on 18 March. The special holiday will be a day of recognition and remembrance – of those who lost their lives from COVID-19 and to recognise the many selfless workers and volunteers who helped the country get through the pandemic. 

3. Update to COVID-19 Illness Benefit 

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, it’s been the case that should an employee test positive for coronavirus or if they are told to self-isolate by a doctor, they can apply for a COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit payment. 

On 1 February 2022, the Minister for Social Protection announced that the scheme will be extended up until 30 June 2022. 

Under the extended rules, if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should be paid enhanced Illness Benefit up to a maximum of 10 weeks.  

If they hold a medical certificate which is valid for less than 10 weeks, they must instead be paid for the duration of that certificate. 

4. Change to Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP) 

Over the last couple of years, Revenue have been providing COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUPs) to employees and self-employed people who have lost all their employment due to the pandemic. 

From 8 March 2022, anyone still in receipt of PUP will move to a payment rate of €208 per week, representing a four-week extension on what had previously been arranged. 

After that period, PUP recipients will transition to standard jobseeker terms and, if eligible, will move to a jobseeker payment effective 5 April 2022. 

If you want to feel confident in compliance with any of the above legislative changes, why not check out our leading payroll and HR software and services? 

Look out for part two of ‘Seven key legislative updates in Ireland for 2022’, coming soon.