Also provides update on demand for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty today announced details of how the government would refund employers who temporarily laid off their employees but are continuing to pay them €203 per week during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation.
Recently, the Minister announced the implementation of exceptional measures to enable workers who are temporarily laid off claim a special COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €203 per week.
At the time the new payment was announced, the Minister indicated that the preference of the government is that the new payment would, as far as possible, be made via employer payrolls.
In addition to minimising the demand on the processing capacity of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection this approach would, critically, help maintain the link between employers and workers and make the return to work more seamless.
In support of this approach the Minister also stated that the department would introduce a refund scheme for employers who kept workers on their payroll during the period of a temporary lay-off.
The approach to this refund scheme has now been agreed. Revenue has come forward and offered to implement the refund system on the department’s behalf. The Minister wishes to acknowledge the support of the Revenue Commissioners as it will help speed up the refund process and reduce the need for employers to rely on short-term finance.
Under the arrangement developed with Revenue, employers who have to temporarily lay-off staff and who are not in a position to make any wage payment to them, are asked to keep their employees on the payroll and pay them an amount of €203 - the equivalent of the COVID-19 Support Payment. When they submit payroll returns to Revenue via their payroll provider, Revenue will refund the employer the €203.
The Minister emphasised:
In order to ensure workers who have child and adult dependants receive their full entitlements, these individuals will be asked to apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit via the online portal www.mywelfare.ie.
Please see further information on the scheme on the Revenue Commissioner's website.
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments Update
Meanwhile, since its announcement, the department has received over 50,000 claims from people who have been laid-off for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments. This indicates the huge impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our economy and on our people.
The Minister acknowledges that this is an incredibly difficult time for many people, particularly those people who lose their jobs, even if this loss is temporary.
The Minister also wishes to record her gratitude for the exceptional work of the staff of her department:
Further information and Revenue guidelines will be published on the department’s website from tomorrow Thursday.