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Covid-19: Are you eligible for Government financial support?
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Covid-19: Are you eligible for Government financial support?
on 03 April 2020
The recently enacted Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 contains welcome measures for employers and employees affected by the crisis

Wage Subsidy Scheme

If you have a business employing staff, such as a racing yard or stud farm, you could be eligible for the Government Wage Subsidy Scheme. The scheme will provide Government funding up to 70% of an employee’s wages, up to a level of €410/week.

Initially, employers will have to continue paying up to 70% (to 100% where possible) of an employee’s wage, but the Government will refund 70% of this two days after payroll submission.

This month, the scheme will move to a subsidy system. To be eligible your company must meet the following criteria:

  • Be experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to Covid-19.
  • Be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a minimum of a 25% decline in turnover.
  • Be unable to pay normal wages and normal outgoings fully.*
  • Retain their employees on the payroll.
  • The scheme is confined to employees who were on the employer’s payroll as at February 29th, 2020, and for whom a payroll submission has already been made to Revenue in the period from February 1st 2020 to March 15th 2020.
  • One of the bonus points of the scheme is that employee PRSI will not apply to the subsidy or any top-up payment by the employer.

    The scheme will run for 12 weeks from March 26th.

    *Revenue has stated that this declaration by the employer “is not a declaration of insolvency” and that, should Revenue seek to validate employer eligibility for the scheme, it will adopt a “reasonable, fair and pragmatic approach in considering whether the criteria have been met”.

    Rural Social Scheme

    If you are already in receipt of the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) welfare payment and lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of Covid-19, you will be eligible to receive the €350/week Covid-19 pandemic emergency payment on top of your RSS payment.

    This means that for any of the 3,475 farmers on RSS, they will still receive the minimum RSS payment of at least €225.50/week and the emergency payment of €350/week.

    Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment

    If you are an employed or self-employed farmer in full- or part-time work and you lose your job as a result of the pandemic, you will be entitled to a social welfare payment of €350/week for 12 weeks.

    While the payment is available immediately, in the interim if you have an adult and child dependent you are advised to claim Jobseekers payments, as you can claim additional payments which are not available under the unemployment payment. The easiest way to apply is online via

    Illness benefit

    Both employed and self-employed can avail of Illness Benefit at the new increased rate of €350/week. The Illness Benefit covers people who have contracted the virus or been forced to self-isolate.

    To apply, you must first contact your GP who will assess you over the telephone. The doctor will then complete a medical certificate on your behalf and send this directly to the Department. To complete the medical certification, your doctor will ask you for your name, PPSN and date of birth.

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