24 March, 2020

Following on from the announcement by An Taoiseach this afternoon (24/3/2020) regarding extension of closures for indoor facilities and also about amendments to the COVID-19 Pandemic Payment, are detailed below:

Extension of Social Distancing measures

All gyms and leisure centres have been instructed to close by An Taoiseach, effective from midnight tonight until Sunday 19th April for now Read more here


COVID-19 Pandemic Payment

The Government has today announced a National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme.

This will provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis.

In summary:

  • a temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees. This is the equivalent of €500 per week before tax
  • workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203)
  • the Covid-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week
  • the self-employed will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme)
  • enhanced protections for people facing difficulties with their mortgages, rent or utility bills
  • it follows from a range of supports already in place to help business through the crisis

Income Support Scheme

  • An eligible employer will be supported up to 70% of an employee’s take home income up to a maximum weekly tax free payment of €410 (i.e. 70% of take home weekly income of €38,000 per annum).
  • The scheme will provide support on incomes up to €76,000 or twice average earnings. It will be capped at net €350 for incomes between €38,000 and €76,000.
  • The employer is expected to make best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period.
  • Revenue will provide further guidance on operation of the scheme.
  • There will be severe penalties for any abuse of the scheme.

Eligibility for the Income Support Scheme

  • Employers must self-declare to Revenue that they have experienced significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19, with a minimum of 25% decline in turnover, and an inability to pay normal wages and other outgoings, in accordance with guidance to be issued by Revenue.
  • This scheme is open to impacted employers in all sectors. This recognises the impact that COVID-19 is having across all parts of the economy.
  • The employee must have been on the payroll in February 2020.

Self-employed workers

  • Self-employed who qualify will be paid the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 rather than through the Revenue scheme. They will be eligible on a similar basis as the Revenue scheme for employees.

How to apply

  • Revenue and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will provide details to employers today on how to apply.

Eligibility for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

  • People who have already been approved for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will now get an increased payment of €350 per week (instead of €203) at their next payment date. Anyone else who loses their job due to the COVID-19 crisis can apply to the Department for payment at the new rate.
  • The COVID-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week.
  • Further details are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Duration of the Income Support Scheme last?

The new Scheme will be in place for twelve weeks.

Full details of the scheme are available here

More supports available to employers, employees and operational guidance for our members is available at our COVID-19 webpage here.


We have been engaged with government regularly over the past few weeks in relation to supports for the sector and have issued another press release earlier today calling for supports which can be read here.