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Update to the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme

20 October 2020

Yesterday’s announcement by Government of the move to Level 5 for a period of six weeks and the increased restrictions that this will impose are likely to have a significant impact on businesses. As a result, the government have announced important changes to the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). The main aim of this scheme is to ensure where possible employees retain their link with their employer rather than become unemployed. The revised elements of the scheme will run until end of January 2021.

The extent of the restrictions may mean that businesses which have not previously availed of the scheme may now need to do so. Existing claimants will also benefit from the increased rates of subsidy payable.

Under the EWSS, businesses that expect to suffer a decline of 30% or more in their turnover in the period July to December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, may qualify for payment of the wage subsidy in respect of each of their employees. Further details of the qualifying conditions etc can be found here:

https://www.bdo.ie/en-gb/news/2020/update-legislation-published-for-the-new-employee-wage-subsidy-scheme

New Rates of Subsidy for the period from 27 October to 31 January 2021

Subsidy rates under the EWSS are being amended to align with the level of payments available under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment which is available to laid off workers. There will be 5 payment rates/bands as follows:

Employee’s Weekly Earnings

Rate of Subsidy

0 - €151

Nil

>€151 < €203

€203

>€203 < €300

€250

>€300 < €400

€300

>€400< €1,462

€350

 

The new rates are a substantial increase on the existing rates, which were payable at a maximum rate of €203 per week (now €350). No action is required for existing claimants as the new rates will be applied automatically.