The Community Employment (CE) schemes is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people to get back to work by offering temporary and part-time placements in jobs within local communities. After the placement, participants are encouraged to seek permanent part-time and full-time jobs elsewhere based on the experience and new skills they have gained while in a Community Employment scheme.

Rate of Payment can be found here:


Payments made to participants on a Community Employment Scheme are social-welfare-like payments and are therefore exempt from USC. This is subtly distinct from the payments having a zero rate of USC. Revenue insist that the payment should be processed as not being liable for USC, rather than as being liable for USC (and at 0%). This means that attention must be paid to the way CE employees are set up.


Income from any project commencing on or after 1 October 1993 is taxable irrespective of the location of the project or the participants. This means that PAYE should be processed as normal, with appropriate tax credits and standard rate cut off point.


'Community Employment Participant' should be selected in the PRSI/USC tab so that the appropriate rate of PRSI is applied.

Step 1

Go the Employee screen and click 'Add New Employee'. Enter all the relevant details for the employee.

Step 2

Select the Pay Details tab for the employee. Select the 'Different Amount Each Period' Option.

Step 3

Click the Elements Tab
In the Elements grid, Make sure that the Salary row is grey and has a zero amount. Under the Salary row, in the description column, type 'Salary'.

There should now be two salary rows.

For the amount for the new salary row you entered, type the amount you wish to pay (You can override this in the Payroll screen)

Step 4

Click the More>> button at the top right of the elements grid

Untick the 'USC' column in the new salary row you entered

Step 5

Make sure that 'Community Employment Participant' is selected for PRSI in the PRSI/USC tab

Click 'Update Employee' at the top of the screen


Submitting a P45 for CE employees

If you have not set up the USC as directed above, but have instead made the employee USC exempt (or otherwise made the rate 0%), this will have no bearing on either the Net or Gross pay. However, if you issue a P45 for the employee, it may be rejected by Revenue because the USCable pay on the P45 will be overstated. This is even though the USC is zero. You may have to reprocess the payments before Revenue will accept the P45.

If you find yourself in this situation, You will have to rewind the full year for the employee, and then reprocess the full year making sure that the USC tick box is unticked in the Elements grid.

It's quite a laborious task. This document might help:

(You should probably make a note of all the payslips before doing this in case anything else changes while you are reprocessing)


Correcting Incorrectly set up CE Employees

If you have made the employee PAYE exempt, or used the incorrect tax credits or standard rate cut off point, then putting in the correct tax details either via a P2C file, or manually, will correct the problem for cumulatively taxed employees. You may wish to confirm this course of action with Revenue as they may decide to put the employee on a week one basis if the tax refunds are too high. The Revenue employer's helpline is:

Telephone: 1890 25 45 65

If you have not selected the correct PRSI class or have not selected 'Community Employment' in the PRSI tab, then this page has details for obtaining a refund:

It is not possible to create a PRSI refund through payroll as PRSI is calculated on a 'week one' basis.


Try out a fully functional version of Payback. You can process payroll for all your employees for 2 pay periods.

Visit our secure webstore

Download a Free Trial

Get started with a free trial. You can process two full payments and be confident that Payback does everything you require at no risk.