Update to Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been increased from €203 a week to €350 per week. The rate increase is effective from 24th of March. The scheme is available to both employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The COVID-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week.

Any employee or self-employed person who was 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.

The DEASP have announced 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  This scheme has been replaced by a new and enhanced Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme for employers, which will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners.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 is expected to last 12 weeks from 26th March 2020.

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 for 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.

The Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation have launched a Business Continuity Planning: Checklist of preparatory actions in response to COVID-19. This user-friendly checklist identifies a range of issues for enterprise to consider in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Member Big Red Cloud has updated its payroll system in accordance with the new government measures against Covid-19. The Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme was introduced late on Tuesday. Big Red Cloud has re-developed their payroll system in record time and has now released this offer to their thousands of customers. Thank you to member Big Red Cloud on offering full support to employers for payments made through the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and doing their bit in helping Irish SMEs during this tough time.



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