On March 15th the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection encouraged employers to retain employees where possible and set up a refund scheme for employers to pay staff €203 weekly for each worker who would otherwise be laid off.

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. The amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue will then be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue. This reimbursement will, in general, be made on a ‘next day’ basis. It will ensure a speedy payment process for employees and minimise the hardship for employees who are temporarily laid off. Refunds of income tax or USC that an employee may be entitled to because of being laid off will also be administered by the employer and will be repaid (to the employer) through the scheme.

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.

Key features of the scheme

The employer will make the payroll submission to Revenue on or before each pay date.

The employer runs the payroll as normal, entering the following details for each relevant employee

  • PRSI Class set to J9.
  • A pay amount of €0.01 (there must be some pay entered for the payroll to run).
  • A non-taxable amount of €203.
  • The payroll submission must include pay frequency and period number.

 No other payment amounts are made by the employer to the employee and all temporarily laid off employees are granted the €203.

 Employers are asked to advise employees to make a Jobseeker’s Benefit claim via the MyWelfare.ie online portal (so that the employee(s) can access qualified dependant payments if appropriate).

Making an application for the Refund Scheme

Employers, or their agents, apply to Revenue to operate the scheme by carrying out the following steps:

  • Log on to ROS myEnquiries and select the category ‘Employer COVID -19 Refund Scheme’.
  • Read the declaration and press the ‘Submit’ button.
  • Log on to ROS and in ‘Manage bank accounts’, ‘Manage EFT’, ensure that the bank account details provided are correct.

Please find additional information on the following link: