Business and Self-Employed Government Support Update - Ireland (January 11, 2021)

Additional information in light of new national lockdown in Ireland from 30 December 2020

On 24th December, 2020, the Irish government implemented nationwide restrictions, which resulted in inter-county travel bans from 26th December, and restrictions on the activities of pubs, restaurants and some retail services such as hairdressing and beauticians. The restrictions were due to be in place until 14 January 2021.

However, the government quickly moved to full Level 5 restrictions, commencing 30th December, with the review date moving to 31st January. These stricter restrictions resulted in the closure of non-essential retail, gyms etc, including the cessation of golf in Ireland.

Of specific note to Members in Ireland is the limitation within these tighter restrictions on 'Click and Collect' services – for now and at least until 31st January, online trade must be 'Click and Deliver' with no option for collection.

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It should also be noted that inter-county travel restrictions have been in place in Ireland since 26th December, 2020.

 

COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

Recognising the impact on businesses that are adversely impacted as a result of COVID restrictions in Level 3 or higher, the Irish Government introduced the CRSS in November 2020, and it is expected to run until 31st March, 2021.

Qualifying businesses can apply to Revenue for a cash payment of up to a maximum weekly payment, based on past turnover, of €5,000 per week of being locked down. The level of payment will equal 10% of average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter up to the €5,000 maximum. For the weeks commencing 21st and 28th December and 4th January, the CRSS payment will be double the normal amount for qualifying businesses.

The CRSS is available to companies, the self employed and partnerships who carry on a taxable trade and whose turnover is restricted by more than 75% compared to 2019 levels

PGA Members in Ireland are advised to check whether they are eligible for this support, and if so they may want to consider making a claim to Revenue. Claims must be made within 8 weeks of the date restrictions started.

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Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EISS) update

In late December 2020, the Irish Government updated its guidance on the EISS which is support available to employers in relation to eligible staff who are retained on their payroll throughout the pandemic. The eligibility criteria include the need for the employer to possess appropriate tax clearance.

The eligibility criteria in terms of an employers’ turnover were also clarified at that time, to cover calendar year 2021 as well as the existing criteria for 2020, which have been in operation since the summer.

A number of PGA Members in Ireland took advantage of this support during 2020.

To be eligible, a business:

  • should have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1st July and 31st December 2020 for 2020 pay dates and between 1st January to 30th June 2021 for 2021 pay dates, looking at the period as a whole rather than on a monthly basis; and
  • this disruption is caused by COVID-19.

For 2020, the method of computing turnover to demonstrate the 30% reduction remains unchanged.

For 2021, the reduction in turnover or orders is relative to:-

  • the same period in 2019, where the business was in existence before 1st January 2019;
  • where the business started trading between 1st January and 1st May 2019, the date of commencement to 30th June 2019; or
  • where the business commenced after 1st May 2019, the projected turnover or orders for 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021.

Any PGA Member who intends to claim this support in the coming weeks or months is encouraged to check continued eligibility in relation to the 2021 pay dates.

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Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

On 6th January 2021, government announced that the PUP would continue to be paid at its current rates until 31st March 2021.

The support remains open to new entrants who lose their employment due to the COVID pandemic, and the easiest way to apply is via www.MyWelfare.ie

There are currently four rates of PUP in payment with effect from 16th October 2020 and which will continue until 31st March:

Rates

Prior earnings

PUP rate

 

1

Under €200

€203 JA Rate

 

2

€200 and €299.99

€250

 

3

€300 and €399.99

€300

 

4

€400 or more

€350

 

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