Public holidays, Rules for Employers
Your entitlement to public holidays is set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. One exception is part-time employees who have not worked for their employer at least 40 hours in total in the 5 weeks before the public holiday. Employees who qualify for public holiday benefit will be entitled to one of the following:
- A paid day off on the public holiday
- An additional day of annual leave
- An additional day's pay
- A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
The Organisation of Working Time Act provides that you may ask your employer at least 21 days before a public holiday, which of the alternatives will apply. If your employer fails to respond at least 14 days before the public holiday, you are entitled to take the actual public holiday as a paid day off.
2. If you do not normally work on that particular day you should receive one fifth of your weekly pay. Even if you may never be rostered to work on a public holiday you are entitled to one-fifth of your weekly pay as compensation for the public holiday. If you do not have normal daily or weekly working hours, under SI 475/1997, an average of your day's pay or the fifth of your weekly pay is calculated over the 13 weeks you worked before the public holiday. In all of the above situations your employer may choose to give you paid time off instead of pay for the public holiday.
Repair and Leasing Scheme
The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government Mr Simon Coveney T.D announced that the pilot scheme that targets vacant properties and secures them for social housing, by financing the cost of repairs, is to be rolled out on a national basis. An additional €26m is being provided to fund the scheme in 2017 which brings the total amount of investment available this year to €32m. This additional funding will mean that up to 800 vacant properties can be brought back into use as new homes for families on local authority waiting lists.
The Repair and Leasing Scheme allows owners of houses or apartments which have been vacant for a minimum of one year and require necessary repairs to restore suitable properties to a required standard.
Cavan County Council is currently seeking applications or expressions of interest from owners of vacant houses who may be interested in participating in this scheme. The Repair and Leasing Scheme is part of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, and is one of a number of initiatives aimed at bringing vacant private housing stock back into productive use, in suitable locations where there is a demand for social housing.
The Local Authority or an Approved Housing Body will pay for the initial repair costs, subject to a limit of €40,000, in return for a 10 to 20-year lease. The lease payments will be adjusted over a period to recoup the initial repair costs.
For more information, visit the following link
8 Step checklist to help mitigate the risks posed by Cybercrime
- 1) Keep software updated, since updates often include security patches. Last's week's attack, in common with almost All such instances, exploited known vulnerabilities;
- 2) Educate all staff, on a recurring basis, regarding the risks and how to protect themselves and the business. Many cybercrimes are predicated on anticipating or influencing user behaviour;
- 3) Force the use of strong passwords, which are regularly updated, for all applications, not just key applications such as banking or invoicing. Do not leave your passwords on a postit under the keyboard or stuck to the corner of your screen;
- 4) Use up-to-date security solutions including anti-virus, firewalls, intrusion detection, and threat detection. Figures published by Osterman Research Inc. show that three sources combine to account for some 83% of all ransomware malware entering organisations being email (31%), email attachments (28%) and web site applications excluding email (24%);
- 5) Never click on links to banking sites in emails or texts. If in doubt, call the bank directly;
- 6) Treat mobile devices the same way you would treat computers: they are equally, if not more, vulnerable to attack;
- 7) Ensure your files are backed up regularly and reliably. You may lose data 3t any time not only as a result of crime; and
- 8) Get professional, external advice to improve your security. Conducting a risk assessment is a sensible first step.
You cannot eradicate the risk of falling foul of a cyber attack but let's All work to make it more difficult for the bad guys.
October 12th 2016 - Budget 2017USC Reductions: We knew there would be some reductions in USC in Budget 2017 . The FF manifesto said they would aim to abolish USC for earnings under €80,000 but charge 8% USC on income over that. FG said they planned to reduce the main rate from 5.5% to 4.5% in 2017 followed by a gradual phasing out of USC by 2021.
The program for government just stated that ” Reductions will be
introduced on a fair basis with an emphasis on low and middle income earners..”
The Dept of Finance recommended increasing the entry threshold for USC from €13,000 to €14,000 .
What happened ? There was a 0.5% cut to the three lower rates of USC so they go down to 5% , 2.5pc and 0.5pc respectively)
Income Tax increase for high earners: Both the FF and FG manifestos proposed to remove the PAYE tax credit of €1650 for those earning over €100k . FF also planned to reduce it for those earning over €70k. Removal of this tax credit would result in employees paying €1650 a year more in income tax (€137.50 a month). What Happened – Nothing
Reduced Income Tax for Self Employed : The new program for government states that the “Earned Income Tax Credit will be raised from €550 to €1,650 for the self-employed by 2018.” So we expected an increase to about €1100 in Budget 2017. What Happened in Budget 2017 – it was increased to €950
DIRT – The Tax Strategy Group has suggested a drop in DIRT from 41% to 40% .
What Happened ? DIRT was cut to 39% with further cuts promised.
Landlords : We expected the percentage of mortgage interest that can be claimed as ane expense by landlords to be increased from 75%.
What Happened ? It was increased to 80% in Budget 2017.
Help to Buy -we knew some sort of help to buy scheme would be introduced in 2017 .
What Happenend ? An income tax refund was introduced in Budget 2017 to assist first time home buyers . It only applies to brand new homes , not second hand ones. Reports say that it will be capped at around €20,000 and will be based on a 5% of the house price.
The Home Carer Tax Credit . FF promised to increase it from €1,000 to €2,000. FG said they would increase it to 1,650, while also increasing from €7,200 to €10,500 the income exemption. The Dept of Finance suggested it should be increased to just €1100 .
What Happened ? – It was increased by just €100
Capital Acquisitions Tax
The threshold on Band A is was expected to be be raised from €280k to €500k over the next few years. (this band includes all gifts and inheritances from parents to their children). . What Happened ? It was increased to €310,000 in 2017 – with 8% increases on other thresholds.
Cigarettes : We knew there would be higher excise duties on cigarettes.
What Happened ? They were increased by 50c per pack of 20.
Diesel : Duty on diesel was a prime candidate for an increase to bring it closer in line with the duty on Petrol.
What Happened? – No Change
A new Sugar Tax – This was in the Fianna Fail manifesto – they planned a tax on sugar in sweetened drinks that would add an average six cent to a can .
What Happened? It was announced , but won’t begin until 2018 after consultation.
Welfare and Pensions :
We expected some increases in Budget 2017 to Pensions and some Benefits.following :
What Happened? All pensions and benefits were increased by €5 – but the increases will be from March, not January 2017.
The Christmas Welfare Bonus will be 85% for 2016
The extenion of entitlement to a medical card to all children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance was well publicised – and did happen in Budget 2017 .
We expected a new “Working Family Payment” to be announced . (Possibly not in place until 2018). The FG manifesto stated that this would be a payment to ensure parents working over 15 hrs week get €11.75 per hour min.
What Happened? – Nothing.
Help with Childcare Payments
We were expecting a new subsidy scheme for childcare in Budget 2017 – for possible implementation by September 2017.
What Happened ?
An increase in third level fees and the introduction of a student loan scheme has been a possibility for a few years – and we thought Budget 2017 might see some changes announced in that area.
What Happened ? – Nothing
School Transport – There is an ongoing review of the School Transport scheme and the charges and concessions. We expecedt any changes to be announced in Budget 2017.
What Happened ? – Nothing .
The Low Pay Commission has recommended an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour. ( New rate of €9.25 per hour. ) If this is accepted by government we expected it would probably also be announced as part of Budget 2017
What Happened? It wasn’t really announced – but it was mentioned in the documentation.
Michael Noonan upgrades economic growth forecast to 4.3% for 2017
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said on Monday the Irish economy is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent this year. Back in October, the Department of Finance had projected annual growth of 3.5 per cent.
With the country having added 212,000 jobs since 2012, Mr Noonan said his department now sees a further 55,000 jobs being created in 2017.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the Central Bank and European Investment Bank in Dublin on Monday, Mr Noonan said his department is now forecasting 3.7 per cent gross domestic product growth for 2018.
The new projections will be presented to Government on Tuesday under the draft Stability Programme Update.
Mr Noonan said the main external risks facing Ireland include the impact of Brexit, the "new direction of policy in the US", and the growing issue of "populism in Europe".