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Revenue to operate COVID Employer Refund Scheme on behalf of DEASP


Earlier this week, Minister for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), Regina Doherty, announced that her Department was looking at ways to implement new arrangements for workers who are being temporarily laid off as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Revenue has worked closely with DEASP, payroll software providers and the Payroll Software Developers Association (PSDA) in relation to how these new arrangements will operate. The scheme, launched this evening, will allow employers to make the special support payment of €203 per week to their employees through their normal payroll process.

Employers are encouraged to facilitate employees by operating the scheme, ensuring a speedy payment process for employees and minimising the hardship for employees who are temporarily laid off. The weekly amount of €203 paid to employees under the scheme is not subject to tax, USC or PRSI.

Under the scheme, employers will be reimbursed for amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue via the payroll process. The reimbursement will be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue, generally on the next banking day following the submission of the payroll details.

Any refund of income tax or USC that an employee may be entitled to as a result of being temporarily laid off will also be paid to the employee through payroll. These amounts will also be reimbursed to the employer through the scheme.

With immediate effect, employers or their agent can apply to operate the scheme quickly and easily via Revenue’s Online Service (ROS). The scheme can be operated by employers that keep their staff on payroll during the period of temporary lay off, and for any employee for whom a payroll submission was made in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020.

Where employees have already been laid off and their employer has ceased their employment, they can apply directly to DEASP for the payment.

Further details in relation to how employers can operate the scheme can be found on