As this very eventful week draws towards a close, I want to update you on some of the important information and clarifications that the Chamber has been able to get from Government regarding the Covid-19 supports available for business.
I also want to let you know about the new Dublin Chamber Covid-19 Support & Discussion Group on LinkedIn, which we’ve set up, based on member feedback, to allow companies to discuss issues and share advice relating to the current crisis. Please join the group (which is being fully moderated by the Chamber team) and let's continue to work together at this difficult time.
Several member companies have contacted us in recent days with questions regarding the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. In the past 24 hours, Revenue has published important new guidance on employer eligibility for the scheme, and the supporting proofs that are required. Revenue has struck a supportive tone, and I encourage you to read the new guidance in full here.
We’ve been looking at the scheme in detail and the takeaways are:
- Application for the scheme is based on self-assessment principles: a qualifying employer declares that it is significantly impacted by the crisis. Key indicators are that the employer’s turnover is likely to decrease by 25% for quarter 2, 2020; that the business is unable to meet normal wages or normal outputs and any other indicators set out in the Revenue’s guidelines.
- The declaration by the employer is not a declaration of insolvency. The declaration is simply a declaration which states that, based on reasonable projections, there will be, as a result of disruption to the business caused or to be caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a decline in revenue or customers of the kind described above.
- Revenue will not be looking for proof of qualification at this stage. However, they may in future, based on risk criteria review eligibility. In this context employers should retain their evidence/basis for entering the scheme.
- An employer that has been hit by a significant decline in business but which possesses strong cash reserves, that are not required to fund debt, will still qualify for the Scheme. However, the Government would expect the employer to continue to pay a significant proportion of the employees’ wages.
More general information about the scheme is available here.
There are still further questions to be answered and we are pushing for clarity on these. We will update you in future emails.
Thanks to all members who have got in touch so far to ask questions and share concerns. As always, please do not hesitate to contact our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.
I also want to thank the 300+ members who took the time to respond to our latest survey. We are now analysing the results and look forward to sharing them with you early next week.
I know that this is an exceptionally difficult time for many businesses, but I have also been impressed by the resilience of our members during this time of crisis. Firms and their employees are adapting to remote working on an unprecedented scale. As a business community, we have a critical role to play in maintaining economic continuity wherever possible and ensuring that the groundwork is laid for a swift recovery.
Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber