COVID-19: SOCIAL BENEFITS SUMMARY & HEALTH & SAFETY FAQ’S

Thu Mar 26 2020

Dear Member

The purpose of this email is to give you a synopsis of the social benefits announced by the Government over the past 3 weeks and amended significantly this week. Like all changes announced this week there is still plenty of detail to clarify but we wanted to bring you an overview that you can use to assure your clients, should they ring you to cancel or curtail insurance, investment and pension benefits.

INDIVIDUALS (EMPLOYEES & SELF-EMPLOYED)

Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week for 12 weeks. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and were in employment/self-employed up to or after the 13th of March. If the client is self-employed, they must have stopped trading due to the pandemic.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for the emergency Covid-19 payment is by applying online at https://www.mywelfare.ie. All they need is their email to set up a basic MyGovID account which then allows them to apply online.

For more information on the benefit please follow this link: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/

Short Time Work

If your client has been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, they may qualify for Short Time Work Support https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/

COMPANIES

Payroll top up

The Payroll top up scheme will run for 12 weeks from 26 March 2020. This new initiative is part of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill which was passed in the Dáil late on Thursday the 26th of March and is due in the Seanad today (the 27th of March)

The subsidy scheme will refund employers up to a maximum of €410 per each qualifying employee.

  • However, employers should pay no more than the normal take home pay of the employee.
  • The subsidy scheme applies to employers who top up employees’ wages and those that can’t do so.
  • Employers will then be reimbursed for amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue via the payroll process.

For more information on the wage subsidy scheme please click on the link below:

https://revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/temporary-covid-19-wage-subsidy-scheme.aspx

Loans

SBCI Covid19 Working Capital Scheme

Loan features

  • Loan amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5m per eligible enterprise.
  • Maximum interest rate of 4%.

Who can Apply?

Viable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Small MidCap enterprises that meet the eligibility criteria.

Criteria for Eligibility

  • The business is impacted by the Covid-19 virus resulting in business turnover/profitability being negatively impacted by a minimum of 15%.
  • Any 1 of the 11 innovation criteria as listed on the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.

For more information please click on the following link: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/SBCI-Covid19-Working-Capital-Scheme-FAQ.html

Microfinance Ireland – loans €5k-50k

Criteria for Eligibility

  • Reduction of 15% of profit or turnover due to Covid-19 crisis.
  • Having difficulty obtaining finance from commercial lenders.
  • Less than 10 full time employees. Part time employees will be considered (e.g. 2 part time = 1 full time).
  • Turnover below €2m.
  • Must show they will be generating revenue within next 3 months.
  • They do not need to be profitable at this stage.

For more information please click here:

https://microfinanceireland.ie/loan-packages/covid19/

SBCI SME Credit Guarantee Scheme

To help SMEs impacted by Covid-19 related issues have access to sufficient working capital, the Government has repurposed the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) to provide counter guarantees to the banks, mitigating credit risk or need for collateral. The Credit Guarantee Scheme can be used by businesses to obtain loans to support changes they need to make to their business in response to Covid-19.

Key Features of the Scheme:

  • Facilities of €10,000 up to €1m
  • Terms of up to 7 years
  • Term Loans, Demand Loans and Performance Bonds

For more information please click here https://sbci.gov.ie/schemes/sme-credit-guarantee-scheme-cgs

HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE ACT

Please also find key duties of employers under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act. In line with the WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) advice, Ireland is trying to contain further transmission of the virus. Employers and employees all have a role to play in this.

FAQ’s for Employers and Employees in relation to Home-Working on a temporary basis (COVID-19) 

It is important to stress to your clients that they should seek accounting, financial and legal advice prior to making any decision in relation to their business.

Again, we would like to thank you for your queries. Keep them coming to:

Kind Regards

Rachel McGovern
Director Financial Services

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