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Covid-19: Advice and Supports for Equine Owners, Employers and Employees

COVID-19 continues to present challenges, and the long-term effects have yet to be revealed. Equine personnel are strongly encouraged to follow all of the current government guidelines to protect their own health, and that of others within their communities. It is difficult to reference advice specific to each individual situation.

Information provided here is hoped to offer some general advice and practical tips; whilst also providing links to other supports and information available. At an individual level we must all act with wise heads, and with a considered and conscientious approach. 

Latest updates and advice 

See below short updates of both information and advisory notes for equine owners and employees.



  • Resilience and Recovery 2020 - 2021 here
  • Roadmap for re-opening society and business here
  • National Business Support Centre 
    A national business support centre has been established for businesses who have queries and can be contacted at 01 6312002 or by email infobusinesssupport@bei.gov.ie 
    Read more here 

Equine Specific

  • Equestrian Covid Framework available here 
  • Equestrian Covid-19 Signage 
    Available here
  • Equestrian Sport-Ready Submission 
    Horse Sport Ireland safe sport resumption document submitted to government can be accessed here
  • Export of Horses (updated Monday April 20th 2020)
    Resumption of the issuing of export certificates is now in place with some flexibility in arrangements agreed, subject to on-going review during the Covid-19 situation.
    Certification for movements to the EU will be processed by local Regional Vet Offices R.V.O. Contact Details 
    Certification for movements to Third Countries e.g. Australia and China will continue to be processed by the Live Trade Division of DAFM.
    Guidance notes have been issued to registered operators. 

Revenue Covid-19 Supports

Employer/ Employee Payments

Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been extended to 1 April 2021

Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy SchemeFAQs  and Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs; A new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and run until April 2021. Employers whose turnover has fallen 30% will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, including seasonal staff and new employees. (July Stimulus 2020)

Update on payments awarded for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Enhanced Illness Benefit on September 21 2020 here

Business/ Job Supports

July Jobs Stimulus read more here

Government outlines measures to support businesses impacted by Covid 19 on May 2 2020 here includes:

Warehousing (deferral) of tax liabilities - for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading it is possible to defer tax liabilities, during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue. This will allow businesses affected by COVID-19 to delay payment of their PAYE and VAT debts in part of in full for a set period with no interest or penalties. In order to provide support to taxpayers experiencing difficulty with tax liabilities, the interest rate applying to agreed repayments of all tax debt (where agreement has been reached prior to 30 September 2020) will be reduced to 3%. Businesses should discuss this with their financial advisors. 

Accelerated Corporation Tax Loss Relief  - To provide immediate cash-flow support to previously profitable companies, the early carryback of trading losses will be allowed, leading to an immediate refund of some or all of corporation tax paid. This will accelerate repayments of corporation tax that would otherwise become due over the next 18 months, providing cash-flow support to previously profitable companies experiencing losses as a result of public health measures.The maximum amount of the expected current year loss which will qualify for early carry-back against 2019 profits will be 50%. The balance will qualify for carry-back under the normal rules in due course.

Income tax loss relief for self employed - a new income tax relief for self-employed individuals who were profitable in 2019 but, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, incur losses in 2020. The measure will give individuals carrying on a trade or profession as sole traders or members of partnerships a cash-flow boost from the early utilisation of up to €25,000 worth of 2020 losses (and certain unused capital allowances) off-set against 2019 profits. The measure includes an additional option for farmers to step out of income averaging for the 2020 tax year

Credit Guarantee Scheme - state backed loans; Further information here

Temporary Reduction in Standard Rate of VAT read more here

Online Retail Scheme read more here


  • Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection helpline 1890 800 024 OR 01 2481398
  • Citizen's Information helpline 0761 074000
  • DAFM Covid-19 helpline 076 1064468, 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 5pm Monday to Friday

Some Tips for Businesses

  • Revisit promotional materials ensuring it communicates unique selling points, and is compelling in 'call to action'
  • Update content and imagery on websites - pages can be kept dormant until required
  • Clean up database of contacts  - segment if necessary ensuring most relevant messages get to the right people (Ensure GDPR compliant)
  • Compose sample social media posts, collate suitable images, and consider posts that could be used seasonally for the business

Clear communication with clients is of utmost importance at this time. 

Where to focus your business in stessed or distressed conditions

The Resilience Wheel

Other Supports

General advice to navigate Covid-19

Some simple protocols that you can put in place which will hopefully help those managing equine enterprises to navigate this challenging period. Take steps to protect your own health, the health of family, employees, clients, horses and business. Some useful links to financial supports are also available here.

View the publication here Some recommendations to protect the health of humans, horses and business from the effects of Covid-19: