The payment rate of the new Pandemic Unemployment Payment has increased from €203 to €350 per week. The rate increase is effective from 24th March. The scheme is available to both employees and the self-employed who have lost employment on foot of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any employee or self-employed person who has already in receipt of the COVID19 payment or who has applied will automatically get the higher rate from their next payment and they do not need to take any action.
Changes to the Employer Refund Scheme:
- The Employer Refund Scheme introduced on 15th March is no longer accepting applications. This scheme has been replaced by a new and enhanced Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme for employers, which will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners.
- Employers who have already signed up for the refund scheme announced on 15th March, and who may have received refunds under the current scheme do not need to reapply. Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme.
- Revenue will operate this Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. The scheme, enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer. The scheme expected to last 12 weeks from 26 March 2020. Draft legislation governing the scheme will be published shortly.
- The scheme is available for employers who retain staff on payroll; some of the staff may be temporarily not working or some may be on reduced hours and/or reduced pay. Provided the employer meets the conditions set out and subject to the levels of pay to the employees the employer may be eligible for the scheme for some or all of the employees.
To qualify for the scheme, employers must:
- be experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to Covid-19
- be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a minimum of a 25% decline in turnover
- be unable to pay normal wages and normal outgoings fully
- retain their employees on the payroll
For general issues relating to the scheme, employers should contact Revenue’s National Employer Helpdesk via the myEnquiries system, providing details of the query and a direct dial contact number.
Employers should make sure to:
- Select ‘Employer’s PAYE’
- then ‘Employer’s PAYE General Enquiry’ when submitting the query through myEnquiries.