ESF Information Memo 32/20 - Continuation of average payments (COVID-19)

This memo provides guidance to project promoters around the continuation of average payments during COVID-19 and is an update of ESF Information Memo 10/20.

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Covid-19 update of ESF Information Memo 10/20 - 16 October 2020

Dear Project Promoter,

Following the announcement of the recent government COVID-19 restrictions, DfE, in line with the procedures set out in ESF Information Memo 10/20, remains committed to ensuring there are appropriate levels of ESF and DfE funding for projects. As such, ESF projects will continue to receive monthly payments based on their average claim over the period April - December 2019.

Due to the complexities related to our EU Delegated act, it is becoming more likely that COVID-19 absences will have to be paid from national funds, which as you know are already under considerable pressure. In light of this I would ask that all projects do their best to keep COVID-19 absences to a minimum, that is, if you can work on your ESF project, please do so. I totally accept that some COVID-19 absences are unavoidable. COVID-19 absences will apply to the end of March 2021. As always, a clear audit trail of all COVID-19 absences and payments should be retained. 

I understand the disappointment felt by projects with the return of these restrictions and the effect this has on the delivery of your projects. Many projects have contacted me to discuss this. As always we will offer the maximum level of flexibility in terms of delivery and targets; unfortunately, any decisions taken in relation to on-site or online delivery must be made by individual boards.

I wish you all well in these difficult times and would appreciate if you would keep me informed of your project progress and let me know if my team can be of assistance in any way.

If you have any queries please contact


Annie McGowan
Head of ESF Project Delivery Branch

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