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  • Lots of your questions about the recently introduced COVID-19 employment supports for individuals and organisations are answered in this overview (updated 22 April) from our auditors and accountants UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited. Our thanks to Alison Gray of UHYFDW for letting us share this information with all of our members.
  • Peter Daly updated the core info in our Theatre Forum Tax and Self-Employment Factsheet  (incorporating changes such as Tax Individualisation and the Artists Scheme) as well as adding a COVID-19 addendum to it.
  • On Friday 21 April, NCFA hosted an Information Meeting on COVID19 Supports For Artists and Arts Workers in collaboration with SIPTU/Irish Equity and Theatre Forum.
  • Artists and arts workers are likely to be disproportionately exposed in the private rental sector. They are in a proven low pay sector in general and it is recognised that they work in a very precarious environment. Consequently they are more likely to be renters rather than home owners. While the banks have agreed to create a mortgage pause for home owners, no such relief has been created for renters. The elimination of almost all forms of paid work in the arts sector has had a devastating effect on incomes that people would have planned for and relied on for rent and other outgoings over the coming months. Threshold offers renters affected by COVID-19 advice and support and find out about or apply for rent supplement.

Here is the information provided at Friday’s 21 April webinar. Much of this is also available on www.irishequity.ie. If you have further queries you can contact Karan O’Loughlin koloughlin@siptu.ie or Andrea Holmes aholmes@siptu.ie.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment for PAYE Workers
This is a payment of €350 per week for any PAYE worker who was employed at March 13th and became unemployed as a consequence of the cessation of production due to Covid-19. Workers including those on work permits, can apply for this payment here https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/#apply. If you have one adult and one or more dependent children, or if you have 4 children or more, you may want to claim a Jobseeker’s Payment instead of the COVID-19 Pandemic Payment. This is because you can claim an additional allowance for your adult dependant and child dependants, which may bring your weekly payment to in excess of the €350 weekly payment due under the emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment for Self Employed Workers
If you pay yourself as a PAYE worker through your payroll then you can apply for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme from the Revenue Commissioners. If you don’t pay yourself as a PAYE worker then you should claim the emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment at MyWelfare.ie. You may, if your trading income has collapsed to the extent that you are available to take up other full-time employment if it was offered to you, receive a payment of €350 per week for so long as you are available to take up other work. This is equal to the standard jobseeker rate for a two adult household. This payment can increase if you have a number of child dependents. To claim the higher payment you should complete the Jobseeker’s Benefit claim form on MyWelfare.ie. It may take some time to process this additional payment but you will in the meantime receive a minimum of €350 and any additional payment will be backdated when it is paid. Information on all of this can be found here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/68c144-what-to-do-if-you-are-self-employed-covid-19/

PAYE Workers offered work but not started because of Covid-19
Unfortunately this is the only category now not covered under any of the above payments. If you are in this situation, your only current recourse is the normal social welfare supports that can be claimed here Jobseeker’s Benefit  and if you have a number of dependants you can get information here child dependents. Or on MyWelfare.ie. We are still striving to have this category of worker acknowledged and supported by the Government.

Medically certified to self-isolate or absent from work because you are ill due to Covid-19
This payment is for workers and the self-employed who cannot work in the short term because they have been medically certified to self-isolate or are ill due to COVID-19. The application process is the same as Illness Benefit and you will need to be medically certified by your doctor. You do not need to attend your GP in person. Please refer to HSE guidelines on this here https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/. The personal rate of Illness Benefit is €350 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks where medically-required to self-isolate or longer following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. People whose sole income is their Social Welfare payment need not apply as they will keep their existing payment. If you have received a paper certificate from your Doctor you should send it immediately to DEASP Illness Benefit, PO Box 1650, Dublin 1 or email it to illnessenquiry@welfare.ie. Please ensure you send both sides of the certificate in the email, and follow up by sending the paper certificate in the post to the address above.

Other Useful links 
Short time working
List of Intreo offices
Citizens Information
Artist eligible for the Self Employed Artists Social Welfare Scheme
Applying for the Self Employed Artists Social Welfare Scheme