Dear Member

In the first instance I want to say thank you for all of your feedback and for sending in your queries to us. We are receiving a lot of questions about rights and entitlements associated with the new Covid-19 income support scheme so, in order to assist as many people as possible, here are some Q & A examples and some useful links to other pieces of information.

The employment subsidy applies to those who had been engaged in PAYE work but the illness and unemployment payments applies to both PAYE and self-employed workers. If you are in receipts of a state pension and you also work you may not qualify but you if your work has been cancelled because of Covid-19 you should apply anyway (with evidence of the cancelled work) and the Department will make a decision on that.

Q – I was engaged as PAYE but only had a few days’ work before it was stood down. What are my options?
A – The Income support Scheme is confined to employees who were on the employer’s payroll as at 29 February 2020, and for whom a payroll submission has already been made to Revenue in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020. If you don’t meet this criteria then you will not be eligible for the income support scheme. However it you can get a letter from the employer confirming that they intended to engage you for a further identified period then you may be eligible for the Covid-19 unemployment payment. If you can’t get in touch with them, contact us again with the name of the employer and we will make representations to them on your behalf in this regard

Q – I was due to take up work and was contacted a few days beforehand and told not to report on the due date . Where does this leave me with regard to financial support to workers affected by Covid-19 crisis?  
A – In these circumstance I would also suggest that you get a letter from the employer confirming that they intended to engage you but could not because of Covid-19 then you may be eligible for the Covid-19 unemployment payment but you will not be eligible for the wage subsidy scheme. This payment can be claimed by employees and self-employed workers.

Q – I was due to start on a job but my engagement was cancelled because of Covid-19 before I could start. As such I have now no contract (or a cancelled contract) with the company and am not on their payroll system.
A – The answer to this is the same as above, get a letter from the employer confirming that they intended to engage you but could not because of Covid-19 then you may be eligible for the Covid-19 unemployment payment but you will not be eligible for the wage subsidy scheme. If you can’t get in touch with them, contact us again and we will make representations to the employer on your behalf in this regard.

Q – I was doing a one person gig which has now been put on hold due to Covid-19. Am I eligible for any of the Covid-19 payments?
A – You may be eligible for the Covid-19 unemployment payment if you can show evidence that your show was cancelled/deferred due to Covid-19 so you should make the application.

Q – What is the tax situation with the €410 wage subsidy?
A – This is a non-taxable payment. PAYE, PRSI and USC will not be applicable to the €410 or to any top up any employer may provide where they have the revenue to do so.

Q – How long will these new Covid-19 payments last for?
A – The employment subsidy scheme will remain in place for 12 weeks and the Covid-19 unemployment and illness payments remain in place for 6 weeks. Thereafter for unemployment/illness people will revert to the normal social protection payments unless the Government extends the scheme. This link will give you some more specific information about a variety of other situations: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/covid19_and_social_welfare.html

Q – How can I claim for dependants?
A – If you have one adult and one or more dependent children you should claim a Jobseeker’s Payment instead of the Covid-19 Pandemic Payment because you can claim an additional allowance for your adult dependant and child dependants, which will bring your weekly payment to in excess of the €350 weekly payment due under the emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Information on this can be accessed here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/cb3726-jobseekers-payments/

For more information on other supports such as rent, utilities, mortgages, travel, immigration click the link here: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/covid19_overview.html

I hope this information was helpful to you and link to claim forms can be found on the MUI Website at www.mui.ie

Please keep sending in any further questions, information or feedback you may have.

Regards
Graham Macken
gmacken@siptu.ie

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dear Member,

Following significant lobbying by SIPTU and the Irish Congress of trade Unions, the Government announced on 24th March new measures to provide financial support to Irish workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis for both self-employed and employed workers. This includes also assistance for renters and utility bills etc.

Self Employed
Self-employed workers are eligible for the special Covid 19 unemployment benefit which has been increased to €350 per week

For self-employed workers who become ill are eligible for the Covid 19 illness benefit which has also been increased to €350 per week

If you have already received a payment of any of the Covid 19 benefits then you don’t need to do anything as there will be an automatic adjustment. If you are making a fresh claim, you can do so through this link  https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/eca524-covid-19-information-for-employees/

For Employees (PAYE Workers) 
Revenue will operate a Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for organisations whose business activities are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme, enables employees, whose employment is affected by the pandemic, to receive supports directly from their employer. The scheme will run for 12 weeks from 26 March 2020 but any employee who was on the payroll as at February 29th is now eligible for these payments and we are in discussion with the producers on running this through payroll wherever possible. The subsidy scheme applies to employers whether they can afford to top up employees’ wages or not.

For employees who become ill they are eligible for the Covid 19 illness benefit which has also been increased to €350 per week

For employees who have been laid off and the employer cannot make payments through the payroll they are eligible for the Covid 19 unemployment benefit of €350 (plus normal payment for any dependants)

In April, the scheme will move to a subsidy payment based on 70% of the weekly average take home pay for each employee up to a maximum of €410 net pay. Income tax and USC will not be applied to the subsidy payment through the payroll. Employee and Employer PRSI will not apply to the subsidy or any top up payment by the employer.

If you have already received a payment of any of the Covid 19 benefits then you don’t need to do anything as there will be an automatic adjustment. If you are making a fresh claim, you can do so through this link  https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/eca524-covid-19-information-for-employees/

We also expect legislation to be passed to tomorrow freezing rents and banning evictions for the next 12 weeks also. As you may be aware the banks have agreed to give workers financially effected by Covid 19 a 3 month break from mortgage payments and applications can be made for this through your on line banking.

Further support measures for renters and utility bills etc can be accessed here: https://www.gov.ie/en/news/a6d8fa-government-announced-new-covid-19-income-support-scheme/

For any questions on the above the email addresses are:

Andrea               aholmes@siptu.ie or mui@siptu.ie

Graham              gmacken@siptu.ie

NCFA Covid-19 Survey

In an effort to assess potential damages of the impact of COVID-19 on the artistic community and to endeavour to provide potential solutions to the situation, the NFCA is collecting data to aggregate information on cancelled events, postponed performances, lost opportunities and loss of income in the sector. Please take a few minutes to fill in this important surveyHERE

SIPTU supports new wage compensation scheme and increase in COVID-19 emergency payment

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, has welcomed the Government’s wage compensation scheme which was announced today (Tuesday, 24th March) and is intended to retain workers in employment.

Under the scheme, an employer will receive a subsidy of 70% in respect of an employee’s net wage, up to €38,000 per annum. The scheme is intended to continue for a 12-week period although further details have yet to be provided. The latest government proposals also include an increase from €203 to €350 per week in the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Joe Cunningham said: “The Government’s announcement will go a long way towards protecting employment and businesses during this emergency. It will provide security for workers and help ensure the economy will be in a strong position to recover once this public health crisis is over.”

“SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions have been calling for the introduction of such a scheme. While we await further details, the outline announced by the Government today is consistent with what we have been seeking. 

“In particular, it has the capacity to keep employers and employees connected, which means that once the emergency has passed, the economy will be in a stronger position to recover. While we would have preferred the scheme to be extended to workers who have been temporarily laid off, the increase in the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is to be welcomed. We will be seeking clarification as to whether this increase will also apply to Jobseekers payments.”

“We are calling on employers to engage positively with this scheme so that workers and the economy receive its potential benefits.  We also call on employers to work with their employees and their trade union representatives to ensure maximum participation.”

Discounts for MUI members

discounts

If you are using any of the retailers below, please be sure to show your MUI card for a discount.


Paul Ryan Music, 4 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

paulryanmusic.com – Tel: 01 679 8571

Everest Music, 2 Raven Hall, Dargle Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow

everestmusic.com – Tel: 01 286 1933

Goodwins Music, 134 Capel Street, Dublin 1

goodwinsmusic.ie – Tel: 01 873 0846

Perfect Pitch, 35 Exchequer Street, Dublin 1

Perfect Pitch – Tel: 01 677 1553

About Us

The Musicians’ Union of Ireland (MUI), an affiliate of SIPTU,  represents musicians from every genre along with music teachers, singers and other music professionals.

The Union works hard to protect members, whether freelance or directly employed, from exploitation and has a successful track record of ensuring that members receive all contractual entitlements arising from their performances.Continue Reading