Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme: Will your business qualify?

Amie Doran

August 04 2020

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

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

The two schemes will run in parallel from 1 July 2020 until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020.

There are some key differences between the two wage subsidies so you will need to carry out monthly reviews to make sure your business continues to meet the new criteria under EWSS.

30% revenue drop up from 25% under TWSS

First of all, to qualify for the scheme, your business must be able to demonstrate that your business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1st July and 31st December 2020 and that this disruption to your business is caused by COVID-19. Under TWSS, you only needed to demonstrate a decline in revenue of 25% and 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 1 July 2019
  • the date of commencement to 31 December 2019


  • where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or orders.

You will 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 your turnover increases and brings your decrease below the 30% required, you will 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, but Minister Paschal Donohoe has now 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


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


Publication of participating businesses

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

Need our help?

For further complimentary advice on the new wage subsidy scheme from an expert, call us any time day or night on 0818 923 923 or request a callback here.

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