Employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS)


The employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS) provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers, based on the number of eligible employees. The scheme was announced as part of the Government's July stimulus package, and represents a continuation of the supports offered by the temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS).

The TWSS remains in place up to 31 August 2020 for eligible employees, though new hires will only be eligible for the EWSS. The EWSS is scheduled to be in place until April 2021.

Qualifying criteria

  • Employers must self-declare to Revenue that they have experienced significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19.

  • For paydates in 2020, there must be a minimum of 30% decline in turnover between 1 July and December 2020 and an inability to pay normal wages and other outgoings, in accordance with Revenue guidance.

  • The decline in turnover/orders is relative to:

    • the same period in 2019, where the business existed prior to 1 July 2019;

    • the date of business commencement to 31 December 2019; or

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

  • For 2021 paydates, this reduction in turnover or orders is relative to the same period in 2019.

  • Special rules apply where the business commenced after 1 January 2019.

  • Employers must prepare a forecast of the likely reduction before they claim the EWSS for 2021.

  • Businesses are required to undertake a review on the final day of every month to ensure they continue meeting the eligibility criteria.

  • The scheme will be open to newly hired employees as well as to seasonal staff; proprietary directors and newly hired connected parties are excluded.

EWSS rates

The level of subsidy the employer will receive is per paid employee. The support will be backdated to 1 July for qualifying employers who did not qualify for TWSS.

Employee gross weekly wagesSubsidy payable
Less than €151.50Nil
From €151.50 to €202.99€151.50
More than €203 and less than €1,462€203
More than €1,462Nil

On 19 October 2020, the Minister for Finance announced increased subsidy rates to be applied to paydates on or after 20 October 2020 until 31 January 2021 as follows:

Employee gross weekly wagesSubsidy payable
Less than €151.50Nil
From €151.50 to €202.99€203
From €203 to €299.99€250
From €300 to €399.99€300
From €400 to €1,462€350
More than €1,462Nil

Other details

  • A 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy.

  • A list of employers availing of the EWSS will be published on Revenue's website in January 2021 and April 2021.

Revenue EWSS page
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