Know your rights: Maternity leave during COVID-19

I’ve been on maternity leave from work. What are the rules about the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for people returning from maternity leave?

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) provides financial support to workers affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.  The scheme makes it easier for businesses to re-open with staff when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

To access the scheme, businesses had to be substantially affected by COVID-19. They also needed to provide employee payroll details from January and February 2020. This meant that if you were on maternity leave or adoptive leave you were not eligible for the scheme.  People on paternity leave, illness benefit or unpaid leave were also affected by this anomaly in the TWSS.

This will now change. From 12 June 2020, Revenue will allow payroll changes to be made to the scheme for these workers and payments can be backdated to 26 March in some cases.

How to get onto TWSS after maternity leave

When you return to work from maternity or adoptive leave, your employer must complete details about you as a returning employee through MyEnquiries on revenue.ie.   The form includes details of your weekly gross salary. 

Revenue will consider each case. They will cross-reference the information from your employer with maternity benefit data previously sent to the DEASP and your last full weekly gross pay on record before your maternity or adoptive leave.

Revenue will then calculate an Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP) to work out your TWSS payment.  The payroll files will then be updated to include the calculated ARNWP. Your employer can still top up your pay in line with the current TWSS rules and threshold amounts.

If your employer took you off the payroll, they can re-hire you. They need to request a new Revenue Payroll notification before you can benefit from TWSS. If you stay on your employer’s payroll, your TWSS payment can be backdated to 26 March.

If you were getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you cannot get the backdated TWSS payment because you cannot get two payments. However you can switch to the TWSS from 12 June.

You can read more about COVID-19 and Maternity Benefit.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from: