Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

As part of the July stimulus package, the Government has announced that the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is to be phased out and replaced by the EWSS.

The EWSS will replace the TWSS from 1 September 2020 and is expected to continue until 31 March 2021. Both the EWSS and the TWSS will run in parallel from 1 July 2020 until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020.

The EWSS will be paid directly to the employer.  

Eligible Employers

In order to claim the subsidy, the employer must be able to demonstrate that due to Covid -19 they have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020 as compared with the same period in 2019.  

The employer is required to reassess their eligibility for the scheme at the end of each month. If they no longer meet the criteria, they should deregister (via ROS) from the scheme effective from the first day of the following month.

To qualify for the scheme, the employer must throughout the entire period hold a valid tax clearance certificate. Revenue have issued guidance on the EWSS and in particular the tax clearance requirement in view of Covid related debt warehousing arrangements.

Revenue will publish a list of employers who operated the EWSS at the end of January 2021 and April 2021.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees include an individual who is on the payroll of the employer at any time in the period between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

EWSS does not apply to employees connected with the employer (e.g. spouse, sibling, child) unless they were on the payroll and received payment during the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

Revenue have issued revised guidelines which provide that the EWSS can be claimed by Proprietary Directors in limited circumstances when certain conditions are met including:

  • The employer meets the eligibility criteria for the EWSS.
  • The proprietary director is on the payroll of the eligible employer and
  • The proprietary director has been paid wages which are reported to Revenue on the payroll of the eligible employer at any stage between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.

Subsidy Rates

The subsidy is based on an employee’s gross weekly wage, including notional pay, before deductions and excluding non-taxable benefits. 

The subsidy will be paid at the following rates: 

Scroll table

Employee Gross Weekly Wages Subsidy Payable
Less than €151.50 Nil
From €151.50 to €202.99 €151.50
From €203 to €1,462 €203
More than €1,462 Nil

Standard PAYE rules will apply to payments made to employees. This is a welcome change from the TWSS and means that employees are not continuing to accrue a tax liability that will need to be paid at year end. Furthermore, the employer PRSI rate will remain at 0.5% for emoluments that are eligible for the scheme.

Application process

Once employers have assessed they are eligible for the EWSS, they will be required to sign a declaration via Revenue’s Online System (ROS) to register for the scheme.  

The introduction of the EWSS is a welcome measure. If you wish to discuss any aspect of this subsidy including debt warehousing arrangements, please contact a member of our team. 

Please note: The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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