Level 5: Support for Businesses

As of midnight on 21 October, the whole of Ireland entered into level 5 of lockdown for a period of 6 weeks. Our blog post today looks into changes that have or are to be made to existing schemes, in order to help support your business and employees.

Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS)

The rate of subsidy for EWSS has been revised to help support your business under level 5. The EWSS rates are to be aligned with the PUP rates of payment. If your employees’ gross earnings were €400 or more per week prior to the pandemic, they will now receive €350.

These changes will be effective from the next payroll date, after 19 October 2020. For convenience we have attached the revised rates in the table below:

COVID-19 Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS)

The eligibility criteria for CRSS have been relaxed, meaning your company can qualify for it provided that your turnover is no more than 25% of the average weekly turnover for a period equal to the same number of weeks in 2019. New businesses will instead be required to use figures from 2020. If your business is affected by entering into level 5, this might provide you with a means of further relief, in addition to EWSS.

To qualify, your business must be operating from premises wholly located in a region which is subject to restrictions under the Government’s “Resilience and Recovery 2020: Plan for Living with Covid-19”.  As a result, you must be required to prohibit or restrict members of the public from entering your premises. Generally, restrictions apply at levels 3, 4 and 5, but your business might still qualify at lower levels, depending on your circumstances.

The support provided is as follows. Up to the first €20,000 of your company’s 2019 average weekly turnover, you will receive a 10% cash payment. If your business’s weekly turnover was greater than €20,000, any  amounts above this will accumulate additional payments at 5%, up to a maximum payment of €5,000 per week from the scheme. Therefore, to get the maximum amount, your business’s average weekly turnover in 2019 would need to be €80,000.

The scheme is due to run between 13 October 2020 and 31 March 2021, but Revenue is still in the process of adapting their systems for the scheme. Therefore the first payment under CRSS will be delayed until the CRSS system is live.

For more information on the CRSS, you can read the Government’s overview letter here.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

In relation to PUP, the Government has introduced a fourth bracket of payment. If your employee’s gross earnings were €400 or more per week prior to the pandemic, they will now receive €350 from their PUP payment. This aligns PUP with EWSS.

This change takes effect for all new applications received from 16 October 2020. All the other PUP brackets remain unchanged at €203, €250 and €300.

New applicants are being urged to apply online at MyWelfare.ie.

Sectors Exempted from Level 5 of Lockdown

If your business falls within one of the Government’s listed essential services or essential retailers, your business is permitted to continue operating under level 5.

The list of essential retailers can be found here.

The list of essential services can be found here

Please note that both these lists only apply to level 5 and may be changed if the lockdown level drops.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.ie

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay