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Sinn Féin TD raises wage subsidy scheme concern

CLARE Sinn Féin TD, Violet-Anne Wynne, has raised with the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue, the issue of workers paid under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme who have failed to receive their correct wage payment from employers, despite the set wage criteria existing as part of the scheme.
“The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme is operated by Revenue and enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer. The scheme has operated from March 26. The Temporary Wage Subsidy replaces the previous Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme and provides for a significant increase in the €203 per employee payment that previously applied,” Deputy Wynne said.
“Despite the generous terms to employers by the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, I have been made aware that some employers are failing to pay employees their required wage based on the stated calculations  for employer participation in the scheme. Application for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is based on self-assessment principles – an employer declares that it is significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by a decrease of 25% in trade and that the business is unable to meet normal employee wages,” Deputy Wynne added.
“However, as more businesses reopen in Clare, I am increasingly aware that workers are facing difficulties in receiving their correct and full wages from employers who avail of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. In a parliamentary reply the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue TD has said that where an employer has been paid a wage subsidy in respect of an employee and it transpires that the employer has not passed on the wage subsidy to the employee, the law requires that the employer must refund the wage subsidy amount to Revenue. Any employer refund due to Revenue is treated as if it were tax due and from the date the wage subsidy amount had been paid. However, where necessary, Revenue may make an assessment to recover the amounts in question with interest. An employer could be liable to a penalty of €4,000,” the Clare Sinn Féin TD noted.


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