The average number of persons employed by the Group (including Executive Directors) during the year, analysed by category, was as follows:
Sales & marketing
Production & distribution
The actual number of persons employed by the Group as at 28 February 2022 was 2,822 (FY2021: 2,653).
The aggregate remuneration costs of these employees can be analysed as follows:
Wages, salaries and other short-term employee benefits, net of government grants (a)
Restructuring costs (note 5)
Social welfare costs
Retirement benefits – defined benefit schemes (note 23)
Retirement benefits – defined contribution schemes, including pension related expenses
Equity settled share-based payments (note 4)
Other non-equity settled share-based payments and PRSI accrued with respect to share-based payments
Charged to the Income Statement
Actuarial gain on retirement benefits recognised in Other Comprehensive Income (note 23)
Total employee benefits
Directors’ remuneration (note 28)
(a) Government grants and assistance
In the current financial year, wages and salaries amounting to €106.7m (FY2021: €82.9m) are stated net of wage subsidies received by the Group from the Irish and UK governments. These wage subsidies are offset against the related wages and salaries expense over the period in which they were incurred. During FY2022, the Group availed of wage subsidies of €1.7m from the Irish government and €2.9m (£2.5m) from the UK government.
Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (Ireland)
Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (Ireland)
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (UK)
Grants related to income
The Group has availed of the Irish and UK government schemes as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group has availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020 and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 September 2020 to 7 June 2021 in Ireland and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK from 1 April 2020 to 14 July 2021. The Group no longer avails of any wage subsidy schemes.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme was available to employers who lost a minimum of 25% of turnover as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who kept employees on their payroll during this time. The scheme was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 September 2020 with similar conditions to the preceding scheme, but with a turnover decline of 30% required compared to a similar period in FY2020.
In the UK, the Group availed of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Up to 30 June 2020, the scheme only applied to furloughed employees and employees still working in the Group were not eligible. From 1 July 2020, the UK government introduced a ﬂexible furlough scheme where employees can work part time and an employer can claim subsidies which are passed on to employees for the hours not worked. In order to be eligible for the scheme, employees must have been on at least a three week furlough period prior to 10 June 2020.
In the current financial year, the Group was in compliance with all the conditions of the respective schemes. The grant income received has been offset against the related costs in operating costs in the Income Statement.
In addition, the Group received ﬁnancial assistance by way of commercial rates waivers and deferrals of tax liabilities from the Irish and UK governments.
In Ireland the Group benefitted from a commercial rates waiver of €0.3m in FY2022 (FY2021: €1.0m).
Under the warehousing of tax liabilities legislation introduced by the Financial Provisions (COVID-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020 and Finance Act 2020 (Act 26 of 2020), VAT liabilities of €11.0m (FY2021: €19.1m) and payroll tax liabilities of €3.2m (FY2021: €1.3m) relating to FY2022 have been deferred. Payments made to the Irish tax authorities in respect of deferred tax liabilities during FY2022 totalled €14.5m for VAT and €2.1m for payroll taxes. No comparable payments were made in FY2021.
At the end of FY2022, the deferred VAT liabilities totalled €15.6m (FY2021: €19.1m) and deferred payroll liabilities totalled €2.5m (FY2021: €1.3m), mainly related to new FY2022 deferrals. It is envisaged that the deferred balances will be paid in full by September 2022, subject to any unforeseen COVID-19 implications over this time.
In the UK, no additional tax liabilities were deferred during FY2022 (FY2021: €57.0m (£49.6m)). Payments made to the UK tax authorities in respect of deferred tax liabilities during FY2022 totalled €32.7m (£27.9m) for VAT (FY2021: €nil (£nil)) and €15.0m (£12.8m) for Excise Duties (FY2021: €40.3m (£36.1m)).
VAT liabilities of €0.2m (£0.1m) were deferred at the end of FY2022 (FY2021: €32.2m). Excise duty liabilities of €10.5m (£8.8m) were deferred at the end of FY2022 (FY2021: €24.8m), included in the Euro equivalent closing balances is a retranslation loss of €1.4m. Both the deferred VAT liabilities and the deferred excise duties are mainly related to new FY2022 deferrals and will be repaid in FY2023.