|Update: Your Guide to the New Income Support Scheme|
The Government yesterday announced the National Covid-19 Income Support Scheme, which aims to help support employers and employees in dealing with the impact of the coronavirus. The scheme will be in place for 12 weeks.
Over the past 24 hours we've been analysing the scheme and have identified the main features which may be of relevance. These include:
- A temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme covering 70% of take home pay, up to a maximum tax free total of €410 per week. This move is intended to help affected companies keep paying their employees the equivalent of €500 per week before tax. This scheme is available to all businesses who can show a 25% reduction in revenue as a result of the crisis. It aims to maintain employer-employee relationships by allowing the employer to claim back 70% of an employee’s net wage. Employers have been encouraged to top-up salaries as much as they are able. The subsidy completely replaces the Covid-19 Employer Refund Scheme that was introduced last week.
- Workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203).
- The self-employed will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme).
- The Covid-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week.
- Enhanced protections for people facing difficulties with their mortgages, rent or utility bills.
The introduction of the scheme is welcome and necessary in light of the grave situation facing many businesses, particularly given the likelihood of further significant job losses without a dramatic government intervention. By protecting incomes and employment relationships, it is hoped that the Wage Subsidy Scheme will improve the chances of a smooth return to normal business conditions when the crisis is over.
We have collated the details available so far in our Supports Factsheet and will continue to keep our Covid-19 Information Zone updated with helpful links from state agencies and businesses.
Further measures were also announced by Government yesterday regarding the recommended closure of 'non-essential' retail outlets. A full list of these is available here.
The Government is taking unprecedented actions to deal with an unprecedented situation. Feedback from businesses - including yours - will be important to ensure that the scheme operates effectively. We would very much welcome any thoughts you may have on the scheme and will continue to deliver your feedback to Government over the coming months to ensure the business community gets the help it needs.
If you have anything you would like to share, please feel free to contact the Chamber team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, our Covid-19 Business Impact Survey remains open and we would welcome your participation.
Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber