Did you have to let your staff go temporarily?

As it gets near to your end of month payroll date, here’s how to use the COVID-19 Refund Scheme.

We’ll Answer Your Questions!

What is the COVID-19 Refund Scheme?

  • You can make the COVID-19 Pandemic Payment to your workers through your payroll.
  • This payment is currently €203, and it is refunded by Revenue directly to you, the employer. ***Please note, as announced on 24/03/2020, this payment is due to raise to €350 per week. We will update all changes to the process below***
  • This payment is only for the workers that you’ve had to temporarily let go, because you don’t have the hours for them right now.
  • Right now, this payment is due to last for 6 weeks. Paying it through your own payroll is a temporary measure.

Why is the government doing this?

  • It allows the workers to be paid quicker, via your payroll, than if they have to send in individual applications.
  • You get to maintain contact with these workers while this situation is ongoing.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Payment is available to more employees than Jobseeker’s Benefits are.

Is My Business Eligible?

  • Make sure you have access to ROS.ie
  • Register for the new COVID-19 Refund Scheme
  • Make sure you’re up to date with your payroll returns

Are My Employees Eligible?

 

Employee TypeCOVID-19 Pandemic Payment
Age 18-66Yes
Employees who are temporarily laid off due to COVID-19Yes
Non EU/EEA EmployeesYes
Part-Time EmployeesYes
Student EmployeesYes
Employee was on a Payroll Submission between 01/02/20 and 15/03/20Yes
Employees who are still on your records (Revenue haven’t been told to cease their record with you)Yes
Employees who HAVEN’T already made a claim for the COVID-19 paymentYes – otherwise there is a dual payment. Check with all your employees first!
Employees with qualified dependents? Yes, but if your employee is due a higher payment, they should apply directly for Jobseekers Benefit for this higher amount. Their claim will be prioritised, and when they receive it, they can be taken off your system.
Am I eligible?Even if you’re the Business Owner, if you are paid a wage through the company, and pay PAYE, you can apply if you’re not paying yourself due to COVID-19

HOW Do I APPLY TO RUN THIS SYSTEM?

  • Register for it via ROS My Enquiries.
  • Read the declaration & click ‘Submit’.
  • Go to ‘Manage bank accounts’ in ROS, and click ‘Manage EFT’. Check that these are the right bank account details for your company.

How to run your payroll

  • Check the Revenue Guide Here
  • Request RPNs as normal. Use Week 1 or Cumulative Basis.
  • Your payroll provider may have a new Pay Element that you can use to process this payment. If you haven’t received details of this, contact them directly.
  • In your payroll system, set the PRSI status of your affected employees to ‘J9’. If you don’t, you won’t receive the refund. 
  • Set a pay amount of €0.01, (if your system needs this. Not all systems do)
  • Set a non-taxable amount of €203.
  • There’s no PRSIee, PRSIer, or USC on this payment.
  • Set the Pay Frequency & Payroll Period on your submission.

Pay Frequency Problems

Weekly paid employees who were let go mid-week

The COVID-19 Pandemic Payment can’t be paid on a partial-week basis. If your employee was let go on Wednesday, they get paid for the hours they worked that week. Next week they’ll receive the full €203 payment.

Monthly paid employees who were let go mid-month

If your payroll system allows you, it will be easier to change this employee’s pay frequency to ‘weekly’. Then you can pay the weeks where they receive their regular salary, and then change their PRSI class for the weeks in which you’ll make the COVID-19 Payment.

What if my payroll package can’t support a different PRSI class for different weeks?

First check with your payroll package provider, they may have made changes, and can assist you with setting them up. If your payroll package can’t do this, then apply J9 for the whole payroll period.

I Can’t Afford to Pay the PRSI-er & USC for the paid weeks!

  • No matter what, keep making your monthly returns, and contact Revenue if you’re having an issue making the associated payment. 
  • Revenue is waiving interest on late payments for February & March submissions, and like many other COVID-19 measures, this may be extended. 
  • Contact us for support and help in getting back on your feet.

How to run your payroll

  • Check the Revenue Guide Here
  • Request RPNs as normal. Use Week 1 or Cumulative Basis.
  • Your payroll provider may have a new Pay Element that you can use to process this payment. If you haven’t received details of this, contact them directly.
  • In your payroll system, set the PRSI status of your affected employees to ‘J9’. If you don’t, you won’t receive the refund. 
  • Set a pay amount of €0.01, (if your system needs this. Not all systems do)
  • Set a non-taxable amount of €203.
  • There’s no PRSIee, PRSIer, or USC on this payment.
  • Set the Pay Frequency & Payroll Period on your submission.

About Debbie Cheevers

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018. She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.

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