Minister Donohoe encourages employers to avail of the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD has today, Friday, encouraged employers to register for the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) which replaces the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from the 1st of September 2020.
The Government is committed to supporting employers by means of a wage subsidy, and since March over €2.7 billion of support has been given to over 69,500 employers via the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) covering over 600,000 workers.
The new EWSS is an economy-wide support open to all sectors and gives a subsidy to qualifying employers on the basis of the numbers of paid employees on the employer’s payroll.
The EWSS will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from the 1st of September. Both schemes have run in parallel from July 31st until the TWSS concludes at the end of August to provide additional flexibility to employers with new hires and seasonal workers who were not previously eligible to be paid via TWSS and who may now qualify for EWSS.
The primary qualifying criteria for the EWSS is that the employer must be able to demonstrate that in the majority of cases they are operating at no more than 70% in either the turnover of the employer’s business or the customer orders received by the employer by reference to the period from July to December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
Commenting on the introduction of the EWSS, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, said,
“The EWSS is the centrepiece of the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus and I would like to encourage all employers and businesses who believe that they will continue to experience a significant decline in their level of turnover or customer orders as a result of the pandemic to avail of it.
“The EWSS has been designed with the needs of employers and businesses at its heart and is simple to qualify for, straightforward to operate and broad in its availability.
“Furthermore, employers will continue to pay PRSI at the very significantly reduced rate of 0.5% for jobs that are supported by the subsidy.
“The EWSS is intended to provide employers and businesses with a high degree of certainty that this Government will continue to support them through the uncertain period ahead for the economy and put them in a position to retain key staff end ensure viability so that they are in a strong position as the economy recovers.”
Notes to Editors
The level of subsidy the employer will receive is per paid employee:
• For every employee paid more than €203 gross per week, the level of subsidy is €203
• For every employee paid between €151.50 and €202.99 gross per week, the subsidy is €151.50
• A nil subsidy is payable for employees paid less than €151.50 or more than €1,462 gross per week – the latter amount consistent with the eligibility ceiling which exists in the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme.
The Scheme will be in place until 31 March 2021.
It is estimated that it will cost €2.25 billion, €1.35 billion in 2020 inclusive of seasonal workers and €0.9 billion in 2021.
EWSS Benefits for Employers
1. Reduced rate of employer PRSI
A 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy. This represents a considerable saving for the employer in addition to the flat rate values above (up to 11.05% of the full wage paid). The combination of the €203 subsidy and the PRSI element means that up to 25% of the employee cost is subsidised.
2. Easy to understand
To qualify, the employer just needs to be able to demonstrate that in the majority of cases they are operating at no more than 70% in either the turnover of their business or the customer orders received by reference to the period from July to December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
For each employee paid more than €151.50 per week, the flat-rate subsidy or either €151.50 or €203 is payable per week.
3. Ease of administration
To reduce the administration burden the EWSS is operated through the existing payroll process: the employer runs the payroll as normal, with real-time PAYE operating as usual, and the subsidy payments will be made in line with the employers regular payroll systems. This reimbursement will, in general, be made within two working days after receipt of the monthly payroll submission to Revenue.
4. Longer term support
The EWSS will be in operation for 8 months from 31 July 2020 until 31 March 2021. In the case of seasonal workers and new hires who previously did not qualify for the TWSS, this is extended to 9 months as those cases may be backdated for employees who have been paid from 1 July.
This allows businesses the security of continued support for the rest of this year and well into 2021.
5. Breadth of application of the scheme
The EWSS is an economy-wide support and open to businesses across all sectors. It is open to variety of employment types, including seasonal workers and new hires as well as established employees.