COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme
Paycheck Plus remain committed to ensure the continued smooth running of your payroll during the fast evolving COVID-19 outbreak. This includes facilitating the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme through payroll. Here`s how:
On 15 March 2020, the Irish Government announced the implementation of exceptional measures, administered through the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), to enable workers who are temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic to claim a special support payment of €203 per week.
Revenue has worked closely with DEASP to provide an option for employers to make this payment to their employees through the normal payroll process. The amounts paid to employees under the scheme are not subject to tax, USC or PRSI.
Employers are encouraged to facilitate employees by operating the scheme, where possible. The amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue through the payroll submission (PSR) will then be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue. The reimbursement will be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue, generally on the next banking day following the submission of the payroll details. It will ensure a speedy payment process for employees and minimise the hardship for employees who are temporarily laid off.
Who does the scheme apply to?
- Employers who have temporarily laid off staff as a result of the impact on their business of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
- Employers that keep their staff on payroll and have not ceased the employee(s) with Revenue
- Employees for whom a payroll submission was made by the employer in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020
- Employers that are unable to make top-up payments over and above the emergency payment of €203 per week.
Registering for the scheme
- Employers wishing to operate the scheme must first register through 'ROS > My Enquiries' and by selecting the category ‘Employer COVID -19 Refund Scheme’.
- The employer should also ensure that they have a bank account on ROS to accept the refunds (ROS > Manage Bank Accounts > Manage EFT)
Other key points to note
- The scheme has been designed to allow employers to pay €203 on behalf of the DEASP and to receive the refund from Revenue - thus the payment of €203 cannot be topped up
- Where an employee earns less than €203 (e. g. a part-time employee) they will still be entitled to receive the flat rate of €203
- The payment must be processed in line with the employee's normal pay frequency and cannot be paid in advance
- Refunds will not be received for employees without a PPSN
- Where a tax/USC refund arises when processing the €203 payment, the employee will be entitled to receive this refund alongside this payment. Such amounts will also be refunded to the employer by Revenue.
- Where an underpayment in PAYE/USC arises, the employee can be put on a week 1/month 1 basis to ensure they receive the €203
Paycheck Plus can assist you
- If you do not have access to ROS (Revenue Online Services) in order to apply for the scheme, we can assist by making the application on your behalf via our Agent Link Access we already have in place. We will firstly need your consent in writing (by email) that you are happy for us to make the application on your behalf. Secondly you will need to provide us with your employer bank details (used for payroll) so we can add these to the application to ensure you receive the refund from Revenue.
- We can assist you with processing the special support payment of €203 per week via payroll as normal for those you wish to receive the payment. This will be actioned through your payroll in the same manner as a normal run we just need to know which employee(s) are to receive the payment.
- Where a tax/USC refund arises when processing the €203 payment, the employee will be entitled to receive this refund alongside this payment. Such amounts will also be refunded to the employer by Revenue through the scheme. This will be submitted by us together with the €203 payment on your normal PSR (Payroll Submission Report) so Revenue will be notified of what amounts to refund back to Employers bank account.
Employer and Employee engagement
- You must confirm with the employee(s) that they have not, and will not claim a payment from DEASP whilst you are making this payment to them through payroll.
- You will be asked to advise employees to make a Jobseeker’s Benefit claim via the MyWelfare.ie online portal (so that the employee(s) can access any increased amounts for dependants if applicable)
- If the employee(s) resume employment with the employer, or obtains other supports from DEASP, or secures employment elsewhere, you should advise us accordingly and exclude the employee(s) concerned in future submissions.
The situation is rapidly evolving and we would recommend that both employers and employees follow the public health advice as issued by the HSE and the DEASP .