COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

Mar 26, 2020

The Institute is in constant contact with the various Government departments and regulators on all matters relating to Covid-19. The focus of our contact since Tuesday has been on the Wages Subsidy Scheme administered by Revenue. We are relaying members’ concerns on the operation of the scheme and the need for clarification, because of the impact on payroll run timing and decisions on staff retention.  Some points have now been answered in the Revenue FAQ document which was published today, which provides additional information for employers and agents on the operation of the Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The scheme is provided for in Part 7, section 26 of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 . The Bill is scheduled for Committee Stage debate around 5pm today and to pass the Dáil after that . It is expected to pass the Seanad tomorrow, Friday, and go to the President for approval by signature.  It is likely to be enacted over the weekend.  

Section 26(3) and (19) of the Bill provides that Revenue will publish guidelines on how employers qualify for the scheme and how to satisfy the legislative requirement that there “will occur in the period of 14 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 at least a 25 per cent reduction either in the turnover of the employer’s business or in customer orders being received by the employer.” We are told that guidelines are being developed now by Revenue and will cover the 25 per cent reduction in turnover/customer orders criteria. We do not expect these guidelines to be published earlier than next Monday, March 30. Until such time that the guidelines are available it may be prudent to defer running any payroll or making any decisions on workforce reduction. 

Revenue’s other information and advice for taxpayers and agents is available here.

We will continue to advise all members using the appropriate communication channels as soon as further clarifications and updates are received. 

Click here for more advice and information from the Institute on COVID-19 and keep an eye out for our eNews bulletin tomorrow and our Tax eNews bulletin Monday for further updates.