The Government announced the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) as part of the July Stimulus package (23 July 2020).
EWSS provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
The EWSS replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) on 1 of September 2020. It is expected to continue until 31 March 2021.
EWSS Q&A with Jamie O’Hanlon, Avid Partners – 28 August 2020
Listen via Soundcloud – Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) (7 mins)
Qualifying Criteria for Employers 2020
To qualify for the scheme, the employer must be able to demonstrate that:
- business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020
- and this disruption is caused by COVID-19.
This reduction in turnover or orders is relative to:
- the same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 July 2019
- the date of commencement to 31 December 2019
- or where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or orders.
The employer is required to undertake a review on the last day of every month to ensure that the above eligibility criteria continue to be met. If the employer no longer qualifies, they should deregister for EWSS with effect from the following day (that being the 1 of the month).
The scheme will be administered by Revenue on a ‘self-assessment’ basis. The EWSS will re-establish the normal requirement to operate PAYE on all payments. This includes the regular deduction and remittance of income tax, USC and employee PRSI.
From 31 July 2020
- TWSS employers can claim for non-TWSS employees (new hires) under the new EWSS.
- Non-TWSS employers, who have not previously availed of TWSS, will only be eligible to apply for the EWSS.
- TWSS employers will still be able to rehire eligible employees and continue to operate TWSS to 31 August 2020.
The level of subsidy the employer will receive is per paid employee.
Subsidy paid per employee’s gross weekly wages:
- Less than €151.20 – Nil
- From €151.50 – €202.99 – €151.50
- More than €203 and less than €1,462 – €203
- More than €1,462 – Nil
This support will be backdated to 1 July for employees of qualifying employers who did not qualify for TWSS.
A 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy.
In line with international practice a list of employers availing of EWSS will be published in January 2021 and April 2021 to www.revenue.ie.
EWSS ‘Sweepback Scheme’
As some employees were excluded from the TWSS, for example, newly hired employees or seasonal employees, eligible employers can back date a claim for EWSS to 1 July 2020 in respect of such eligible employees in certain limited circumstances as follows:
- the employer was not eligible for TWSS
- the employer had employees not eligible for TWSS.
Download the Sweepback Template
A Sweepback CSV template has now been made available by Revenue. Employers can now download this file and populate it with the required information.
– On 15 September Revenue will release a facility on ROS where an Employer can upload this Sweepback CSV.
– All applications must be submitted by the employer or agent through Revenue Online Services (ROS) before 14 October.
Update – EWSS Qualifying Criteria from January 2021
From 1 January 2021, the period to be reviewed to determine eligibility for EWSS will be 1 January to 30 June 2021.
The projected reduction in turnover or customer orders (30%) between 1 January and 30 June 2021, is shown compared to the:
- same period in 2019, where the business operated for the whole of the comparable period in 2019
- period from the date of commencement to 30 June 2019, where the business commenced trading between 1 January and 1 May 2019
- projected turnover or customer orders from 1 January 2021, or date of commencement, to 30 June 2021, where business commenced after 1 May 2019. (This is compared to what the projections may have been if COVID-19 had not occurred.)
Full details of the changes are included in the EWSS guidelines issued by Revenue.
*changes are highlighted in yellow on page 6, sample projections page 13
Employers who no longer qualify based on amended projections will have to de-register from the scheme. Incorrect submissions will be clawed back by Revenue or offset against future payments under the scheme.
Additional guidance on the operation of the July/August Sweepback has been published by Revenue. It outlines how to apply the sweepback process.
We are here to help. Should you have any questions on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme or any general concerns about business continuity, talk to Jamie O’Hanlon on 0818 303 087 or email us at email@example.com
This article was updated on 18 January, 2021.
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