INFORMATION MEETING ON COVID-19 SUPPORTS FOR ARTISTS AND ARTS WORKERS

April 16th Media Update
16th April 2020
PRESS RELEASE: NCFA launches 13 Point Proposal for the Survival and Recovery of the Irish Arts Sector
27th May 2020

Here are links and information from the various speakers as discussed at the Information Meeting on COVID-19 Supports for Artists and Arts Workers on Friday 21st April.

As indicated below, PAYE workers who have lost work that had not started yet on 13th March are currently not covered by the COVID-19 Payments. We would advise you to contact the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Helpdesk at artsunit@chg.gov.ie to let them know about your situation, and also to discuss the possibility of coming off Jobseeker’s Allowance with the social welfare office so you can avail of the COVID-19 payment, as a few people have managed to do.

We have included at the end a summary of some information provided during the meeting by Mark Cullen from Pallas Projects/Studios, regarding a way that they used the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme to enable them to stop charging their artists for studio rental. The National Campaign for the Arts has raised the issue of artist studio rental supports with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Arts Council and Dublin City Council, and we would encourage members around the country to raise the issue with their local authorities.

FROM SIPTU/IRISH EQUITY

Here is the information provided at Friday’s webinar and all the relevant links. 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 Links below Threshold for information on Rents: https://www.threshold.ie/

Short time working: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/

List of Intreo offices: https://www.gov.ie/en/directory/category/e1f4b5-intreo-offices/?referrer=/en/service/40cf48-find-your-local-intreo-office/

Citizens Information: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/

Artist eligible for the Self Employed Artists Social Welfare Scheme: https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/27311/cbcb43e3c0144fa8bb145fe997f2324b.pdf#page=1

Applying for the Self Employed Artists Social Welfare Scheme: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/b5474f-professional-artists-on-jobseekers-allowance/#what-the-scheme-for-professional-artists-on-jobseekers-allowance-is

FROM THEATRE FORUM

Lots of questions about the recently introduced COVID-19 employment supports for individuals and organisations are answered in this overview from auditors and accountants UHY Farrelly Dawe White Ltd which you can access via the Theatre Forum website: https://www.theatreforum.ie/forum-notice/covid-19-summary-of-supports-for-individuals-and-organisations-2/

Peter (Daly) is updating the core info in a Theatre Forum Tax and Employment Factsheet (incorporating changes such as Tax Individualisation and the Artists Scheme) as well as adding a COVID-19 addendum to it. The plan is to keep general tax and employment information in the Factsheet while making the new COVID-19 info obvious and easily updatable. Theatre Forum are hoping to publish  on our website this Thursday and we will provide the link through the NCFA newsletter and social media.

FROM THRESHOLD

Please note that the law in relation to rent increases has been amended temporarily to protect tenants during the COVID-19 crisis. From Friday 27th March 2020 your landlord cannot increase your rent during a three month emergency period until the end of June. If you are facing rent increase during this time contact Threshold immediately for advice on 1800 454 454 or advicecork@threshold.ie.
https://www.threshold.ie/covid-19/ https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/covid-19-coronavirus/guidance-document-covid-19-supports-landlords-and-tenants

FROM MARK CULLEN AT PALLAS PROJECTS/STUDIOS

Studio organisiations whose turnover is down by 25% or more can avail of the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/temporary-covid-19-wage-subsidy-scheme.aspx
At the moment this will pay an organisation 70% of an employees wages up to a limit of €410. This is as long as they are retained as staff during this time. So Pallas stopped charging rent to artists who couldn’t use their studios and availed of this government scheme as a result. Whoever does the organisation’s payroll can apply for it through the Revenue online portal. Apparently it is very simple as our accountant told us. 
This scheme could be of great help to any studio or ehearsal space that is down income and needs to pay wages. Of course some studios are run on a voluntary basis in which case they won’t be able to avail of the scheme. We should be looking for the Arts Council to provide special support to these smaller and younger organisations. I also hear that some studios run directly by local authorities are still charging their artists, perhaps as local authorities they cannot access the scheme. These artists should not be allowed to fall through the cracks of support.

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