Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme Update

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) came into effect on 26 March 2020 initially to run for a 12-week period up to the week ending 18 June. The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform announced on 5 June 2020 that the operation of the TWSS is extended to 31 August 2020.

Revenue have now issued an eBrief (dated 23/06/20) which outlines the following updates:

Eligibility to participate in the extended Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

The eligibility criteria to continue participating within the scheme or to now join the scheme remain unchanged.  The business must have suffered a significant negative economic impact as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The indicators of this are a minimum of a 25% reduction in turnover, customer orders or any other ‘reasonable basis’ for the three months to 30 June 2020, Quarter 2. 

In March/April 2020 when most businesses joined the scheme they had to make their best estimate about eligibility. For some it was clear cut in that they had to close their business due to public health restrictions, for others it may not have been as straightforward, for example, the construction sector shut down later and re-started trading, albeit in a different fashion, in Phase 1 of re-opening. Now, as we are near the end of Quarter 2, it is clear whether a business did in fact meet the eligibility criteria. If a business did not meet the eligibility criteria but had reasonable grounds for assuming it would, it should immediately cease claiming the subsidy for the extended scheme. Revenue will require evidence of the assumptions supporting the original self-assessment of eligibility and, once the basis is reasonable, will not seek to claw-back the subsidy paid for the original period.  If there was not a reasonable basis, the subsidy is repayable.

Employers who consider they do not meet the eligibility criteria or who no longer wish to avail of the TWSS, should cease returning J9 PRSI Class payroll submissions to Revenue. Employers should also inform Revenue via MyEnquiries of their intention to exit the scheme and ensure the employee J9 PRSI Class (J9 submissions) is reverted on future payroll submissions for each employee to their normal PRSI class (Pre-Covid-19). Those employers who have stopped participating in the TWSS will be included in the reconciliation phase of the scheme and will be included in the list of TWSS participants published at the end of the scheme.

Further details is available on Revenue's website.

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