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Blog  »  May 2014
May 14

Posted by
Audrey Mooney

Ipass - Annual Payroll Conference

IPASS (IRISH PAYROLL ASSOCIATION) held their 15th annual payroll conference in Croke Park on the 22nd May. Both Laura Murphy and myself Audrey Mooney from Thesaurus Software Limited attended the conference. Laura and I enjoyed meeting the other exhibitors, the delegates and listening to the guest speakers. The speakers included Brian Hayes T.D. Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the OPW, representatives from Revenue, Department of Social Protection and Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Managing Director of Thesaurus Software Ltd Paul Byrne in his role as Chairman of the Payroll Software Developers Association (PSDA) gave an informative talk on IT in a Payroll Environment.

It was also an opportunity to show Bright Contracts and our new payroll product BrightPay.

  • Bright Contracts is an innovative software package that has everything you need to create and manage your staff handbook and and employment contracts. 
  • Bright Contracts can be downloaded from
  • BrightPay is simple to use yet powerful and flexible, it will be offered alongside Thesaurus Payroll Manager giving customers a choice of payroll products. 

BrightPay can be downloaded from

Thank you and congratulations to Noelle Quinn and the IPASS team for a successful and enjoyable day.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Bright Contracts News

May 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How to Manage New Employees

The recruitment process should not simply stop when a new employee is appointed. The likely success, or failure, of the relationship often depends on how well the employee settles in.

A probation period gives you time to make sure that the selection you made was the right choice.

It's an opportunity to evaluate the new employee's performance, commitment and general suitability for the role, and to take the necessary action I they are failing to meet the requirements.

Probation periods generally last from one to six months, depending on the role, the business, and the business needs.

How to Manage the Probation Period:

  • Include probation details in the contract of employment, specifically stating the right to extend the probation and/or dismissing an employee during their probation. 
  • Clarify any different terms and conditions of employment that apply during probation, e.g. some benefits may not be available until completion of probation, the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures may not apply. This should generally be stated in the contract of employment. 
  • Provide the employee with a clear job description.
  • Carry out an Induction Process. The induction process should start on the employee’s first day. Induction will give them clear guidance on their role, their role within the organisation and appropriate training where appropriate. A detailed Induction Checklist can be found here.
  • Provide training. It is recommended that training be provided on in-house procedures, although they may seem straight-forward to you, they will most likely be totally foreign to your new hire. 
  • Hold regular update meetings with the employee. Continuously monitor their performance throughout the probation. This will allow you to detect any weakness early on and take suitable remedial action to assist the employee. Don’t leave it to the week before the probation is up to meet with the employee. 
  • Confirm your intentions with regard to the continuation of the probationary period before the planned expiry. The employee should never be surprised with the probation outcome, there should be regular discussions throughout the probation. 

The Outcome

There will be three possible outcomes at the end of the probation period:

They’ve Passed! Congratulations, you’ve found a perfect fit!

Probation Extension! You’re still not sure whether this is the right person or not and need more time to assess them. Employee probation periods should not extend over 12 months.

Termination! After continuous monitoring, you’ve decided that it’s not going to work and that it’s best for everyone to part ways.


Whatever the outcome, a formal letter should be sent to the employee confirming the result of their probation.

For guidance on what to include in such letters, please refer to our sample template probation letters available here.

Best of luck with your new starters!

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Contract of employment

May 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Employee Awarded €80,000 in Gender Discrimination Case

A former female employee of BCon Communications Limited has successfully defended her claim that she had been harassed and discriminatorily dismissed by her former employer on the grounds of family status and gender.

The Equality Tribunal heard that once Ms Mullen informed her Managing Director that she was pregnant with her third child he “froze her out”, removed tasks from her, and undermined her in front of clients.

It was also claimed that at an interview to find a maternity leave replacement the Managing Director reportedly said “I’m not sure if [Ms Mullen] will be coming back to work especially now she will have three children to look after”.

When Ms Mullen returned from maternity leave she was told that her role of Financial Controller no longer existed. She was offered a lesser role, even though the replacement was still carrying out her former duties. Ms Mullen refused to take on the lower role and the Managing Director considered Ms Mullen to have resigned when she refused to return to work in the lesser role.

The Equality Tribunal awarded Ms Mullen €80,000 for the discrimination suffered.

Family status and gender are two of nine grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful under Irish equality legislation. The other seven grounds include: civil status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the travelling community.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of equality in the workplace and the high awards that are granted where weaknesses exist. To reduce the risk of such claims, employers need to have a clear equality policy in place which should be clearly communicated to all employees, particularly managers.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment

May 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Irish working conditions among the best in Europe

80% of Irish employees have rated their working conditions as good, much higher than the European average of 53%.

Under the research published by the European Commission to mark International Labour Day, 1st May 2014, working conditions comprise of a number of factors including:

• Working time
• Work organisation
• Health and Safety
• Employee representation
• Relationship with employer

Denmark topped the scale at 87%, followed by Luxembourg (86%), Finland (84%), and the Netherlands (82%). At the other end of the scale, Spain came in at 20%, Croatia at 18% and Greece being rated the lowest at 16%.

Across the board, younger respondents tended to rate their conditions as better than older respondents. Amongst 15 – 24 years olds 60% said conditions were good, whilst only 46% of those aged 55+ rated conditions as good.

Ireland also scored highly in Health and Safety, with 91% saying they were satisfied with health and safety at their current job.

Interestingly, Ireland and Germany have the lowest proportion of employees in full-time employment at 63%. Croatia topped the poll here at 94%. However, Ireland does have the highest number of employees on temporary employment agency contracts.

Working conditions are one of the key areas covered by European Law. It is extremely encouraging to see Ireland scoring so highly, particularly when the majority of Europeans report that their working conditions have deteriorated in the last five years.


BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Contract of employment, Employment Contract

May 14

Posted by
Paul Byrne

Eircodes - the new postcodes for Ireland

Every address in Ireland will receive its unique Eircode in Spring 2015.

"The Eircodes will help the public, businesses and public bodies to locate every individual address in the State. Eircodes will bring many benefits to the daily lives of people, householders and businesses. Currently, around 35% of addresses - mainly in rural areas - do not have a unique name or number in their address. With Eircodes, delivery of services and goods will be much easier and quicker to these addresses." -

When people receive their Eircode next year, they will not need to change their address. They will just add the Eircode whenever it is needed or useful, so it will be very easy to start using it straight away.

Each Eircode has seven-characters that are unique to each mailing address. The seven characters are divided into two parts – a Routing Key and a Unique Identifier.

For businesses, some of the main things to consider are:

  • Stationery, customer forms, websites and other places where your address is shown. Perhaps, plan print stocks of existing stationery items accordingly in the run up to Eircode Launch Date in Spring 2015.
  • If you use a software package in your business, you will need to check with its supplier as to their plans for when and how they intend to incorporate Eircodes into the package.
  • Some staff training may be needed especially if your systems or processes have changed somewhat to take advantage of Eircodes.

Our software offerings will all be updated to include an extra address field for eircodes and will incorporate all the required validation logic.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in New Features, Payroll Software