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On 1st May, Irish Revenue issued guidance on the Operational Phase of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (“the Scheme”) which will commence from 4 May 2020. Details can be found here

The Operational Phase builds on the existing principle of the Scheme which requires that an eligible employee cannot receive more than the Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP) or €960 net per week before tapering applies. An exception applies to an employee whose ARNWP did not exceed €412 who can receive more than ARNWP provided the sum of the subsidy and employer top up does not exceed a €350 per week.

Key attributes

The key attributes of this Phase are that: 

  • Revenue will calculate the ARNWP and the Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy (MWWS) for each employee and provide these details to employers for use in their payroll process. Details will be provided in the form of a CSV file to employers.
  • Tapering of the MWWS will apply where the employer top up to the employee exceeds permitted limits
  • For eligible employees whose ARNWP did not exceed €586 per week, the interaction of the Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy and Maximum Weekly Employer Payment Before Tapering (MWEPBT) is as follows: 

ARNWP ​

MWWS

MWEPBT

Up to €412​

85% of ARNWP ​

€350 less Subsidy​

€412 to €500​

€350​

ARNWP less €350​

€500 to €586​

70% of ARWNP​

ARNWP less Subsidy​

  • For employees whose ARNWP exceeds €586, Revenue will categorise these employees by reference to their current gross pay as reported in the current payroll submission as a percentage of the ARNWP, with the interaction of the Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy and Maximum Weekly Employer Payment Before Tapering as follows: 

Revenue Category ​

Current Gross Pay as % of ARNWP

MWWS

MWEPBT

Tier 1

Up to 60%

€350

The lower of ARNWP or €960

less Subsidy​​

Tier 2

Between 60% and 80%

€205

The lower of ARNWP or €960

less Subsidy​​

Tier 3

More than 80%

€0

None

  • In all cases, where the subsidy is tapered to zero, PRSI Class J9 should not be applied to any payments made by the employer. Instead normal PRSI class should be applied.
  • Revenue will calculate the level of refund of subsidy due having regard to the maximum wage subsidy and the level of gross pay reported by the employer for each eligible employee.
  • A reconciliation of the employer wage subsidy refunds made between 26th March and 3rd May will be made in due course. Excess payments made will be recouped by either reducing future subsidy payments to the employer or requesting the employer make a repayment directly to Revenue.

Meaning of an Ineligible Employee

While there has been no change to the criteria which determines eligibility of an employer or an employee to participate in the Scheme, Revenue have clarified that an ineligible employee is one of the following: 

  • An employee who was not included in a Qualifying Payroll Submission, as defined
  • An employee whose gross pay, as reported in their payroll submission, exceeds €960 per week
  • An employee whose total payments received i.e. the subsidy plus employer top up payment exceeds the limits permitted under the scheme (any tax refunds processed through payroll are ignored)
  • There is no subsidy payable, including where the subsidy figure is calculated as Zero.

In the above cases, neither the employer nor the employee can benefit from the Scheme and no entitlement to apply a reduced rate of PRSI (Class J9) to payments made to the employee will exist – such payments are treated as regular earnings for PRSI purposes.  

Rehired Employees

Employers who laid off employees as a result of COVID, and who now wish to rehire such employees and avail of the Scheme, must create a new employment for the employee with a different Employment ID before applying the Scheme for that employee.   Employees rehired after 1 May 2020 will not be included in the 4 May 2020 Employer CSV file, but employers should continue to make J9 payroll submissions for employees rehired after 1 May 2020 going forward. While subsidy claims for these cases will be initially rejected, Revenue notes that it will provide a refund as soon as possible once systems are updated. 

Multiple Employments

During the Transitional Phase, up to 3 May 2020, if an employee has multiple employments, each employer individually operated the scheme based on 70% of each employee’s ARNWP with that employer. During the Operational Phase, earnings from all active employments will be combined and reconciled and each employer will be provided with an employer Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy (MWWS) and the Maximum Weekly Employer Pay before Tapering (MWEPBT) to apply to the employee’s payroll. This personalised information will ensure that the employee’s overall position is taken into consideration when calculating the employee’s subsidy entitlements.

Examples and Sample Calculator

Examples of the operation of the subsidy for an employee, with a single employment, are provided in the Guidance.

Revenue has also provided a link to a Sample Calculator for use by employers for an employee in a single employment to calculate the level of the Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy available.  

Get in touch

If you have any queries in relation to the above, please contact one of the team or your usual KPMG contact.

Further information