The Irish government on 24 March 2020 announced measures to provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The measures include a temporary COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme that provides, for 12 weeks, a program focused on assisting employers with employees who were laid off without pay. The new scheme provides wage subsidies to enable employers to preserve the relationship between employers and their employees (whether laid off or facing reduced working hours or pay as a result of the adverse business impact of COVID-19). Under the new program, employers will be refunded up to a maximum of €410 per each qualifying employee. Beginning in April 2020, the program will move to a subsidy payment, based on 70% of the weekly average take home pay for each employee up to a maximum payment of €410. Irish Revenue is to issue further detailed guidance on the calculation of the subsidy amount for different employee earning levels. Employee social insurance will not apply to the subsidy amount and the employer’s portion will apply at a rate of 0.5%.
There are also other income support measures for employees and self-employed persons.
The government announced that it has agreed with local authorities that they are to defer rates payments due from the most immediately affected businesses (primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure, and childcare sectors) until the end of May 2020.
Concerning financial support, a deferral of up to three months on loan repayments will be available to many businesses. In addition, banks are adopting a customer-focussed approach to these businesses with a wide variety of tailored supports including extensions of credit lines, risk guarantees, and trade finance.
Read a March 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Ireland
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