CEO Update: Wage Subsidy Scheme offers a strong solution for business and workforce continuity

March 27, 2020

Business leaders individually and collectively have an important role to play in relation to how we communicate on the Government’s COVID-19 Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme.

The technicalities of the scheme and its eligibility criteria are being worked through and we are in ongoing dialogue with the Revenue Commissioners to iron out all of the issues emerging. The Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners has publicly stated again today that employers acting in good faith and doing their best to support employees and preserve their business for the recovery should use this scheme.

We acknowledge the specific issue in relation to the cashflow eligibility criterion for business. Revenue has clarified, contrary to other public commentary, that participation in the scheme is NOT a declaration of insolvency. It is clear to us that impacted businesses would NOT need to ‘burn through’ their existing cash balances before they could avail of the scheme.

This is a time of extreme pressure for business but we also have to work with those who are radically reformulating to support this national effort. The scheme is not perfect but the primacy of ensuring that employers and employees remain connected through its uptake is key before further layoffs take place.

I am confident by working with the Revenue Commissioners and other Government stakeholders that we can make the scheme work for both business and for the sustainability of society post crisis. My assessment is that the Scheme allows those involved to work through the major challenges without attracting the additional pressure of a negative and public backlash from business not engaging in the initiative.

We can make this work but we need everyone to remain on a supportive footing.

Further guidance on the scheme can be found here.