Written answers

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Department of Finance

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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180. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will review the repayment of the employment wage subsidy scheme to a person (details supplied); his views on whether this was a bona fide application that would have serious knock-on effects for apprenticeships if the payment was disallowed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27524/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020 (Act No. 8 of 2020) provides for the introduction of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which is an economy-wide enterprise support that gives a flat rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on their payroll and the level of gross pay (to employees). The EWSS replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) on 1 September 2020.

The legislation provides that EWSS cannot be claimed in respect of certain connected parties who were not on the employer payroll and paid at any time between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. Connected parties include brothers, sisters, linear ancestors, linear descendants, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews of any individual and their spouse. This does not mean that employers cannot avail of the EWSS in respect of apprentices that correctly meet the eligibility criteria as set down in the legislation.

I am advised by Revenue that the person in question is not an eligible employee for the EWSS as he is a connected person (to the employer) within the meaning of the legislation and was not on the payroll of the employer at any time in the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 and did not receive a payment of wages (emoluments) during this time. Revenue has also confirmed that it is in discussions with the employer regarding repayment of the amounts incorrectly claimed and will work with the business to agree an arrangement that reduces any financial hardship to the greatest extent possible.


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