Temporary Covid 19 Wage Subsidy Scheme Webinar Q&A

See below links for the latest information from Revenue.

FAQs from Revenue


COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs


See the helpfile in Payroll 2020 for how to setup and make payments or view our COVID 19 page including video guides https://www.bigredbook.com/covid-19-update/


All guidance issued here by Big Red Book is subject to Employers and Employees qualifying for the scheme. It is also subject to a certain amount of assumption in the questions asked.

Participant’s Questions:

Q. What is the process for an employee who previously was claiming from DESP to change to claiming through their employer?

A. Clarification for Employees being paid the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) by DEASP

  • If the employer does not wish to pay the employee under the Wage Subsidy Scheme
    • Cease the employee, if not already ceased.
  • If the employer wants to pay the employee under the Wage Subsidy Scheme
    • If already ceased between 1st March and 25th March 2020
      • Restart the employee (this will be a new employment ID) and use the most recent ceased employment ID to calculate the average pay etc
      • This is subject to the ceased employment ID having qualifying submissions
      • Ensure new employment ID is active for the scheme and make payments on this record.
    • If not ceased
      • Just setup for Wage Subsidy Scheme as normal
    • Revenue are sharing data with DEASP who will use this to identify dual payments and will cease future DEASP PUPs for employees that are benefiting from the wage scheme.
      • Employees getting multiple payments for a period will need to repay any over payment
      • Employees can notify DEASP to stop the PUP to ensure


Q. Childcare providers have been instructed to make a 350.00 a week so we won’t be working on the average wage from Jan – feb

A. The DCYA scheme for childcare providers is still under discussion. If and how it will be administered through payroll has not been announced. Revenue’s Wage Subsidy Scheme does not legislate for the terms of the DCYA scheme


Q. I have one employee whom pays into a pension. do I cancel this deduction for the mean time?

A. Currently Payroll does not make deductions from employees being paid under the wage subsidy scheme. This is in line with Revenue guidance


Q. When I add top up rate to distinguish top up amount given to employee along with subsidy how do I select J9 PRSI?

A. Any payments made to an employee who is setup as active for the wage subsidy scheme will be processed as J9 by the software


Q. Is an employee in receipt of widow’s pension eligible?

A. Yes


Q. How can I check payment to my payroll total, any statements from revenue?

A. Revenue has not finalized how they will report back to employers. Keep an eye on https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/documents/pmod-topics/guidance-on-operation-of-temporary-covid-wage-subsidy-scheme.pdf


Q. If the difference between average net pay and subsidy is €150 do I gross up the €150 or just treat this €150 as gross pay?

A. The €150 in this example is treated as gross pay. It should not be grossed up


Q. I just thought that earlier it was stated that pensions were not to be included in calculation of the sub?

A. Revenue are using Gross Pay less Tax, USC and PRSI paid in Jan + Feb to calculate Average Net Pay. 70% of this is the allowable subsidy if Net Average is 586 or less; flat 350 if pay under 960.


Q. PMOD Process?

A. This refers to PAYE Modernisation https://www.bigredbook.com/payroll-support/paye-modernisation/


Q. Can we enable the subsidy scheme in payroll without using it yet?

A. Yes, you can enable it at any time. Only once you activate individual employees to be paid under the scheme will they be paid under the scheme


Q. Does an employee need to be in the scheme each week during the 12 weeks or can they be included one week, taken out another and then put back in?

A. Yes, they do not need to be included every week. But the subsidy is available.


Q. As a Childcare provider should I only pay 70% of wages until the DCYA advise us how they are going to pay the 30%?

A. The DCYA scheme for childcare providers is still under discussion. If and how it will be administered through payroll has not been announced. Revenue’s Wage Subsidy Scheme does not legislate for the terms of the DCYA scheme. We currently cannot advise on what can be done


Q. If my employee does not earn 410 per week now, do I still pay him that now and will revenue look for that money back in the future as it is not near his net average wage?

A. You can only pay 70% of Average Net Pay in Jan and Feb. 410 is a maximum amount


Q. I set up as shown in the first demo but it didn’t do the break up of wage Subsidy and top up/salary in the pay details in the Employees section

A. If the Average Wage has correctly been shown, the figure shown for Wage Subsidy amount and Additional Payment should be calculated. If the wage subsidy amount is showing as 0, they employee may be earning over the 960 weekly average limit. You can run the calculate average pay again in the utilities menu


Q. Are you going to do a “how to” explanation of how to enter details if you normally manually enter your times sheets?

A. Use the new ‘Wage Subsidy Scheme’ rate of pay and under units enter the number of weeks the payment is for. For example, 1 unit for weekly, 2 for fortnightly, monthly details to follow.

Any additional amount must be entered as a second rate of pay on the timesheet. This can be your normal rate of pay once it is a gross payment, subject to tax, USC and PRSI.


Q. If an employee works 39 hrs do you still input this along with COVID-19 subsidy?

A. Yes but if the pay for the 39 hours exceeds the allowable Additional Payments it will be deducted from the Subsidy.


Q. Do I understand correctly that an employer topping up is limited to a *Gross* pay equal to 30% or the average *net* pay? So in fact all employees receiving the subsidy will have a reduction in net pay equal to the tax on the top up? Net pay reductions for all employees?

A. The Wage Subsidy is not subject to Tax, PRSI or USC. The Additional Payment is not subject to PRSI  and is much less than normal pay so amount paid to employee should be close to the Average Net pay


Q. If I register with Revenue in mid April – is it backdated to March?

A. You will have to ask Revenue, but it may not be.


Q. If you make a mistake can you still do roll back?

A. Yes, but you cannot delete submissions to Revenue; refunds will be made based on the first submission if it was Class J9


Q. I have processed the last 2 weeks using 70% subsidy but just noticed in settings that avail of subsidy scheme wasn’t ticked. Class J9 was used and selected wage subsidy only have received one payment so far which i think is for the 203 in the first week

A. You will get 410 for any payments from 26th March. If you are making additional payments, ensure Employees are select to be in the Wage Subsidy Scheme so all has PRSI class J9


Q. If an employee is earning over 960 and not due anything from revenue where does he go for money?

A. That employee should go to DEASP for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment if the employer is no longer paying them.


Q. Just to be clear, if we are not topping up the payment, I only enter the “wage subsidy scheme”, and nothing else, you will generate the €0.01 automatically when i click to submit payrun?

A. Yes, if you do not add any additional payment, the gross will automatically be set at 0.01 for the submission.


Q. If an employee is working part time and has a net weekly pay of around €150, do we just claim 70% of this  (€105) from revenue?

A. Yes


Q. Hi have employees on an variable hours, a lot of these are working greater hours at the moment. If I apply for the scheme they may end up with less take home than they would if I didn’t apply for the scheme. Any advice?

A. If the Additional Payment exceed the Average Net Pay then the Wage Subsidy will be tapered to zero and they should not be included in the scheme.


Q. Wage subsidy and top up being paid, can I still deduct usual lotto payment?

A. Currently deductions are not made for Wage Subsidy Scheme recipients. This is in line with Revenue guidelines


Q. Employer has wage subsidy scheme run for week ending 20.3.2020 on payroll , but revenue only refunded the COVID-19  of 203.00 how do i change this week before running 27.3.2020.

A. That is the correct amount for payroll prior to 26th March. Wage Subsidy Scheme came into operation on 26th March


Q. Is the 30% top up from the Employer – net or gross?

A. This is a gross amount as it’s taxable. While the additional payment is calculated from Net values, this value is entered as a Gross amount


Q. An employee is in receipt of the OAP – are they eligible?

A. Yes


Q. How do we process those on net to gross?

A. Net to Gross cannot be used with the wage subsidy scheme


Q. Can I top up employees who are receiving the Social Welfare benefit directly?

A. No, employees who are receiving the social welfare benefit, must not be paid in the payroll, they should be ceased from a payroll perspective.


Q. Can staff object to being included in the scheme?

A. This is a query for Revenue.


Q. How do you process a payment which is in excess of the 30% top up allowable? Where do you input the reduction of the subsidy COVID-19 payment which is auto calculated?

A. The weekly wage subsidy amount in the panel in employee details can be changed if you are needing to reduce the subsidy in order to pay more than the allowable additional payment


Q. I have two employees who have a deduction taken for VHI weekly.  Does the payroll software automatically stop this deduction?

A. Yes


Q. Can you cease some part-time employees and let them make a claim themselves?  Also, can you pay some employees just the €350 and others the top up on their wages

A. You can have some employees on the scheme. The Additional Payment is optional.


Q. Where in Ros do I add the new Bank account?

A. https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2020/pr-010420-revenue-urges-employers-registered-for-temporary-wage-subsidy-scheme-to-update-bank-details.aspx


Q. How do you avoid refunds being received? Will they be taxed at end of year for amounts received?  Some suggest not to receive refund as they will be taxed at year end

A. Answered Live also – If an employee does not want a tax refund they can contact ROS (myAccount) and request to be put on week-one., month-one basis


Q. What about BIKS?

A. Answered Live also – Eligible companies can suspend the operation of BIK for eligible employees for the period that the employee is on the scheme. For employees covered by this scheme, BIK or notional pay does not need to be included in Gross Pay, however the notional pay will be liable for tax and USC on review at the end of the year. You’d need to contact Revenue for more information


Q. Will the DEASP 350 be taxable later in the year?

A. All the Subsidies will be taxable as with normal unemployment payments. Revenue have not said how this will be done.


Q. Do I keep employees on my payroll who are not on subsidy but social welfare payments?

A. You will have to cease them if they are getting social welfare directly, but you can ‘Restart’ them when they return to employment.


Q. We have a number of employees (temporarily laid off) who are availing of the DEASP €350…should I have ended their employment on BRP or is it enough to just leave it live for when we return? Have already heard that their payment has been received from DEASP

A. They should be ceased in Payroll


Q. I have a bank account set up in ROS to make vat and prsi/payments. I have never been in a refund situation. Do I have to set up another account?

A. Yes, you need to specify a refund account also


Q. Hi there similar to other query can I now send the payroll to revenue with these changes i.e. cessation date how do you resend the payroll again with these changes of cessation date as it said I had no new submission required to ROS.

A. You can cease the employee, enter the Ceased Date and then in ROS/ Re-submit resubmit the last submission for that employee


Q. An employee that works part time with us has 2 jobs, are we doubling subsidy?

A. Both employers can pay the employee under the subsidy scheme


Q. If running a monthly payroll – how do you establish the average monthly wage – is it the average weekly wage  X no of weeks in the month

A. The average net pay is based on Revenue rules. It’s based on submitted payrun dates for Jan and Feb. It’s the submitted gross pay less Tax, USC and EE PRSI and then divided by the number of PRSI week reported (max of 9 weeks).


Q. For an employee average nett pay of 640.28, subsidy is 350.00 only.  30% of 640.28 is 192.08, so total of 70% & 30% is 542.08

A.  Additional Pay in this case is 640.28 less 350, so 290.28. The 30% wording used by Revenue wasn’t fully accurate and is being removed. Now Average Pay less the Subsidy Allowed gives the additional pay



Questions answered live during the webinar:

Q. If an employee is working part time and has a net weekly pay of around €150, do we just claim 70% of this (€105) from revenue?

A. Yes


Q. How do we process employees that have health insurance and pension being paid by the employer?

A. Deductions cannot be made from the Wage Subsidy Payment


Q. How do we process those on net to gross?

A. Net to Gross cannot be used with the wage subsidy scheme


Q. Can you leave Pay period as MONTHLY in the employee record and tick weekly on the timesheets?

A. No, to pay employees weekly they must be setup as weekly in employee details


Q. Employees normally being paid monthly – employer now wishes to make weekly payments for Covid 19 to avail of wage subsidy.

A. Change the employee to weekly pay frequency in employee details


Q. If Max payment is € 410, how come my payroll this week had employees with more than that amount for actual pay

A. €410 is maximum subsidy, they may get tax and usc refunds also


Q. We signed up for our employees to receive the covid payment, however as they are part time workers, they have opted to receive the €350 from DEASP, I have ceased their employment and made them in active, is that all I have to for now?

A. Yes


Q. If an employee is already 66 can he avail of the scheme?

A. Yes, subject to other qualifying criteria


Q. We have taken one of our part time employees from the Payroll. She has applied unemployment benefit but has not been accepted yet. How can I get her back on Wage Subsidy Scheme, if she is not accepted?

A. Employee should tell DEASP they have been taken back on. The employee should be restarted in payroll and the average pay from their ceased record can be used, subject to qualifying criteria


Q. Hi, Can I just ask, I have just checked ROS, and I have an account allocated and active for PAYE-Emp refunds, is this sufficient, or do I need to add another account specifically for this payment in addition to this refund account if it would be the same account?

A. Yes, PAYE-EMP refunds is sufficient


Q. Can staff object to being included in the scheme?

A. This should be answered by Revenue or DEASP


Q. Can an employee on mat leave be put on Wage Subsidy scheme?

A. If they haven’t had payments made to them within the Jan/Feb period, then they’ll have no average net pay under this scheme. Such as question need to be directed to Revenue


Q. Can you repeat the example where an employer would top off an employee pay based on the amount they are receiving from the subsidy? What is the total amount that the employee can receive?

A. The difference between the weekly average net pay and the subsidy amount is the maximum allowed additional payment. The total that can be paid to an employee is the average net weekly pay


Q. So, I can claim the scheme if there is no reduction in hours but more than 25% drop in turnover?

A. This should be answered by Revenue


Q. Do you have take employees back after ceasing their employment when this is over?

A. This should be answered by Revenue


Q. I have just tried to run this lads wage to see if it would work. He should realistically pay his tax & prsi etc up to the date he went on the scheme, but when I run his month with the 2 weeks of the scheme payment his is not deducted any. I can ring one of the team or they can ring me early next week on this if you wish.

A. This needs more context, please contact Big Red Book Support