08/06/2021

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (“EWSS”) will be extended beyond 30 June 2021 until 31 December 2021. The current enhanced payment rates will be maintained for Quarter 3 of 2021 (July, August, September) at current turnover thresholds. However, the time period for assessment will be extended from the current 6 month period of assessment to a full 12 month period. The Government stated that it is too early to ‘prescribe the precise operational parameters of the Scheme for’ Quarter 4 of this year.

Suspension of section 12A of the Redundancy Payments Act 1967

The suspension of section 12A of the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 will be extended until 30 September 2021, at which point employees, laid off without pay, will be able to trigger a redundancy claim if not taken back on. The Government announced that companies genuinely unable to pay redundancy will be able to get an interest free loan from the Social Insurance Fund.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (“PUP”) will be extended in full for existing claimants beyond 30 June 2021 to 7 September 2021. The scheme will close to new applicants from 1 July in recognition that, at that stage, there should be no new job lay-offs that are directly attributable to public health restrictions. The current weekly rates of support will be gradually reduced over three phases by €50 increments provided progress on reopening continues as expected, as follows:

  • Until 7 September 2021, the PUP will continue to be paid at 4 rates. The rate a recipient receives depends on the amount they used to get paid:
    • if a recipient earned less than €200 per week – the rate of payment is €203 per week.
    • if a recipient earned between €200 and €299.99 per week – the rate of payment is €250 per week.
    • if a recipient earned between €300 and €399.99 per week – the rate of payment is €300 per week.
    • if a recipient earned €400 or more – the rate of payment is €350 per week.
  • From 14 September 2021:
    • if a recipient earned less than €200 per week and were on the €203 rate of payment up to 7 September 2021, they will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.
    • if a recipient earned between €200 and €299.99 per week – the rate of payment will be €203 per week.
    • if a recipient earned between €300 and €399.99 per week – the rate of payment will be €250 per week.
    • if a recipient earned €400 or more – the rate of payment will be €300 per week.
  • From 16 November 2021:
    • if a recipient earned between €200 and €299.99 per week and were on the €203 rate of payment up to 9 November, they will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.
    • if a recipient earned between €300 and €399.99 per week – the rate of payment will be €203 per week.
    • if a recipient earned €400 or more – the rate of payment will be €250 per week.
  • From 8 February 2022:
    • if a recipient earned €400 or more – the rate of payment will be €203 per week.
    • All remaining PUP recipients will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.
  • Throughout this period Jobseekers’ and other relevant social welfare income supports will continue to be available, on standard terms, to those who qualify and any person for whom these payments would prove more beneficial than the recalibrated PUP payment will be entitled to receive the more beneficial payment.

Enhanced COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Payment

The Enhanced COVID-19 Illness Payment will remain available and the special arrangements put in place to provide enhanced access to rent supplement, including for victims of domestic abuse, will remain in place at least until the end of the year.

Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme

The Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme to allow the period where liabilities arising can be “warehoused” is being extended to the end of 2021 for all eligible taxpayers, with an interest free period during 2022. Overpayments of the EWSS are included in the Scheme.

COVID Restriction Support Scheme

The COVID Restriction Support Scheme will also be continued in its current form until the end of 2021. The Government will also provide for an enhanced restart week payment, of up to a maximum of €30,000.

Business Resumption Support Scheme

A further scheme, the Business Resumption Support Scheme, is being introduced for vulnerable but viable businesses, particularly in sectors that were significantly impacted throughout the pandemic, even during periods when restrictions were eased. Businesses whose turnover is reduced by 75% in the reference period (1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021) compared with 2019 will be eligible for this Scheme.

Enterprise Support Grant

The special Enterprise Support Grant of €1,000 for self-employed people returning to work will also be continued to assist self-employed sole traders, leaving PUP, to meet restart costs.

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