KEY UPDATES & FAQ’s DOCUMENT
FROM DCYA’S FAQ COVID 19 MEASURES VERSION 5
(for providers and staff of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services)
Summary of TWSCS and other Supports
How will the DCYA operated TWSCS apply in the ELC and SAC sector?
Prior to 4 May 2020, eligible services participating in the Revenue operated TWSS were provided a flat rate of €410 per eligible employee per week. Revenue will recoup any difference between this figure and the amount due under TWSS at a later date. After 4 May, payments by Revenue reflect the correct level of subsidy for each employee.
Is there a deadline for signing the TWSCS Funding Agreement?
Yes, 01st July 2020.
What is the payment schedule for the DCYA Operated TWSCS?
The TWSCS is now operational and payments started to flow on the 24th April. The first three payments in the TWSCS are preliminary. The TWSCS application process will be launched in the week beginning the 11th of May. As part of the application process providers are required to complete an application form and submit it on the Early Years Hive. The information provided on the application form will be used to calculate the total payments under the TWSCS. These amounts will be reconciled against the three preliminary payments already issued. If further payments are required, they will be issued on the 22nd of May and the 5th of June. Completion of the application form is mandatory in line with the conditions of the Funding Agreement.
How are wage subsidies managed for people with more than one employer?
During the TWSS Operational Phase (from 4 May), earnings from all active employments will be combined and reconciled by Revenue. Each employer will be provided with information on an employer Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy (MWWS) and the Maximum Weekly Employer Pay before Tapering (MWEPBT) to apply to the employee’s payroll. This personalised information will ensure that the employee’s overall position is taken into consideration when calculating the employee’s subsidy entitlements. Under the TWSCS, the DCYA will provide the Maximum Weekly Employer Pay Before Tapering to the employer, to be passed on to the employee, subject to the following conditions: (i) Employees with multiple employments who have an Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay of less than €350 are not entitled to be raised to the minimum payment of €350. In this case the payment by the DCYA will be the difference between the Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay and the Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy. (ii) Employees with an Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay of more than €586 can only be topped up to the €586 under the TWSCS.
Is the top-up to €350 under DCYA operated TWSCS reckonable for tax?
The €350 payment under TWSCS is a gross payment and reckonable for tax. Please note that the €350 payment under PUP is also reckonable for tax and depending on a person’s overall income during a year, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment may affect the person’s overall tax liability for the year.
Is the overhead payment a taxable source of income for the service?
The overhead payment is a taxable stream of income in the hands of services, similar to other subsidy payments such as ECCE, CCSP, TEC, or NCS. Tax is payable by businesses on profits/surpluses made 21 during the company’s accounting period. However, subject to the normal conditions, it is not payable on monies used to cover expenditure items, such as the overhead payment under the TWSCS. A business’s tax liability is a matter for the business and Revenue.
What if an employee was not paid their usual pay in January or February 2020?
There can be cases where an employee was in employment but who did not receive normal pay in January or February 2020, such as reduced pay, maternity leave, illness benefit or off-pay leave. According to the Revenue guidance on TWSS, in such cases the employer can either:
- operate the TWSS based on Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay, or
- pay the employee the appropriate wages without receiving a subsidy refund.
The Department of Finance have stated that the question of an individual’s entitlements in an employment context following his or her resumption of duty after a period of unpaid leave, and the question of what wages an employer may or may not be in a position to pay such an employee in the light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the employer’s business, are matters that are outside the remit of the TWSS.
Women who are due to finish statutory maternity leave (paid or unpaid) but cannot return to their employment due to COVID-19 are entitled to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment from when they were due to return to work (maternity leave end date).
DEASP advise that the full suite of employment rights legislation continues to apply to in relation to all employees and their employers for the duration of the crisis and beyond.
What is the overhead payment for providers to contribute to their non–deferrable operational costs?
As part of the TWSCS, the DCYA will provide an overhead payment calculated as 15% of gross weekly pay costs for eligible staff, or €300, whichever is higher. This is in recognition of the fact that although some costs will be reduced by the closure of the service, and some costs can be deferred following an agreement between the relevant parties (e.g. an agreement to defer rent or mortgage payments), not all non-wage costs will be reduced or deferred. As noted above, the overhead payment must be used towards ongoing operational costs for the service, including consumables such as Personal Protective Equipment. It cannot be used to top up wages. Evidence of expenditure must be maintained for compliance purposes.
Do employees accrue holiday pay entitlements under the Revenue TWSS or the DCYA operated TWSCS?
A period of employment whilst in receipt of a wage subsidy will be treated as continuous service of employment and there will be no break in service. Annual leave entitlements and other terms and conditions of employment contracts are a matter between the employer and employee and outside the scope of the scheme. ELC and SAC providers are advised to obtain clarity on their own particular circumstances and are encouraged to make contact with their employer support representative groups or alternatively seek independent advice for guidance, which might include adapting leave policies during this period. Information on employees’ holiday entitlements is available from Workplace Relations Commission: https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/what_you_should_know/leave/annual-leave/