Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Finance
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
The Government’s priority in commencing the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is to ensure that all employers experiencing significant negative economic disruption from COVID-19 can receive support payments as quickly as possible. The purpose of the scheme is to ensure that the relationship between employers and employees is maintained to the greatest extent possible so that businesses can restart operations quickly once that is possible.
TWSS builds on data returned to Revenue through the PAYE system and as such is a fully automated solution. The TWSS, which was developed in a very short timeframe in response to the pandemic is designed around the dates specified in the legislation. The legal timelines are that employees were on the employer payroll at 29 February 2020 and that the employer had fulfilled its PAYE reporting obligations for February 2020 before 15 March 2020. Revenue recently revised the eligibility conditions for the scheme under its care and management provisions, which extended the 15 March 2020 deadline to ‘before’ 1 April 2020. However, these concessionary arrangements can only operate for future payrolls and are not available on a retrospective basis for previous payrolls.
Revenue has advised me that the business in question could not previously access the TWSS because of amendments to its February payroll after 15 March 2020. However, the business has access to the scheme under the revised concessionary criteria. Revenue has confirmed to me that it has made direct contact with the business to clarify the position.