The Government, in response to COVID-19, introduced the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) to replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) on the 1st September 2020.
Qualifying conditions for Employers:
· Must have a valid tax clearance certificate.
· Their business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020 due to Covid-19.
· To prove the reduction in turnover or customer orders, the employer must compare to same period in 2019.
· Monthly reviews should be carried out to ensure that the 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders test continues to be satisfied.
· Sufficient and appropriate evidence should be retained.
· Employees in receipt of gross weekly wages of between €151.50 and €1,462 subject to the following exceptions:
o Newly hired connected parties who were not on the payroll and paid at any time between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. Connected parties include close family members and their spouses.
o Employees employed otherwise than as part of a business: This may include employees such as childminders, housekeepers, gardeners etc
· Revenue have confirmed that most proprietary directors will qualify as eligible employees.
· The proprietary director must be on the payroll of the eligible employer and must have been paid wages which were reported to Revenue between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.
· Where a person is a proprietary director of two or more eligible companies, a claim for EWSS can only be submitted in respect of a single company.
Newly or Seasonally hired employees:
· Eligible employers can backdate a claim under the EWSS to 1 July 2020 for newly or seasonally hired employees not previously included in the TWSS.
· A “sweepback” template must be completed and submitted to Revenue. This is due to be available from 15 September 2020.
· The total subsidy due will be calculated by Revenue and credited to the employers designated bank account.
Registration and Operation of the EWSS:
· A separate registration process is required for the EWSS as the eligibility criteria differs from the TWSS.
· The registration can be completed by the taxpayer or their agent through Revenue Online Services (ROS).
· As registrations cannot be backdated, it is very important that employers register for the EWSS prior to the first pay date for which the EWSS is being claimed.
Rate of EWSS:
The rate of weekly subsidy the employer will receive per paid eligible employee is as
Employee Gross Weekly Wage Subsidy Payable
Less than € 151.50 Nil
From € 151.50 to € 202.99 €151.50
From € 203 to € 1,462 €203.00
More than € 1,462 Nil
For pay periods other than weekly, gross weekly wage will be calculated by dividing the
returned gross wage by the number of insurable weeks included.
· A list of employers availing of the EWSS will be published in January 2021 and April 2021.
· To ensure that the scheme is operated as intended by the employer, Revenue will undertake an assurance check programme at a later stage. Further details on how this future assurance check program will operate will issue in due course.
· Employers should retain appropriate documentary evidence to support their claim for the EWSS.