Will your business qualify for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme?

One key part of the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus plan is Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). The EWSS entitles you to receive a flat-rate wage subsidy for each eligible employee on your payroll, should your business meet certain eligibility criteria.

What is the EWSS?

The EWSS is replacing the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from September 1st, 2020. It’s expected to remain in place until the end of March 2021.

The two schemes will operate side by side from July 1st, 2020, until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020.

There are some key differences between the two wage subsidies that you should be aware of. For one, you’ll need to conduct monthly reviews to ensure your business continues to meet the new criteria under EWSS.

30% revenue drop up from 25% under TWSS

To qualify for the scheme, your business must be able to demonstrate that it will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between July 1st and December 31st, 2020. Furthermore, you must prove that this disruption is caused by COVID-19.

Under the TWSS, you only needed to demonstrate a decline in revenue of 25%. So, this increase to 30% could lock many businesses out of the new scheme.

This reduction in turnover or orders will be compared against:

  • The same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to July 1st, 2019.
  • The date of commencement to December 31st, 2019.
  • Where a business commenced after November 1st, 2019, the projected turnover or orders.

You’ll need to review your figures on the last day of every month to confirm that the turnover decline meets the 30% drop required to avail of the scheme. If turnover increases and brings your decrease below the 30% required, you’ll need to deregister with effect from the 1st day of the new month.

Reversal of proprietary directors’ exclusion

Proprietary directors were initially excluded from the scheme. However, Minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed that proprietary directors are being reinstated to the EWSS provided they retain “ordinary” employees on payroll.

Subsidy amount

The second key difference between the two schemes is the amount of the subsidy. Eligible businesses will receive the following subsidy per paid employee which is substantially less than what was available under TWSS:

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

Publication of participating businesses

Should your business avail of EWSS, your business name will be published on the Revenue’s website in January 2021 and again in April 2021 if you’re still using the scheme into next year.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on the new wage subsidy scheme from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

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Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

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