Ireland: Updated guidance on employer and employee eligibility in employment wage subsidy program

Assessing employer eligibility for the employment wage subsidy program

Assessing employer eligibility for the employment wage subsidy program

Irish Revenue released updated guidance on the operation of the employment wage subsidy scheme—a program intended to provide relief from the economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and provided for in the Financial Provisions (COVID-19) (No.2) Act 2020 that was signed into law on 1 August 2020.

While most of the key points provided for in the guidance have already been publicised either in the Act or in the related commentary, the guidance from Irish Revenue does provide additional practical insight into the operation of the scheme and offers more clarity in respect of assessing employer eligibility for the scheme.

  • Employer eligibility from 1 July 2021: To be eligible to participate in the employment wage subsidy scheme, the employer must be able to demonstrate that their business has been significantly disrupted by reason of COVID-19. Specifically, the employer needs to demonstrate at least a 30% decline (or such other percentage as the Minister for Finance may specify) in either the turnover of the employer’s business or in customer orders received during the financial period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021, for pay dates on or between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.
  • Employee eligibility: An employee in receipt of gross wages of between €151.50 and €1,462 (subject to an exception) for an eligible employer will qualify as an eligible employee. The employment wage subsidy scheme definition of eligible employee includes an individual who is on the payroll of the employer at any time in the “qualifying period” (i.e., at any time between 1 September 2020 and 31 December 2021.)

Read an August 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Ireland

 

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