Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)



Information about the changes the Minister for Finance announced on 19 October 2020 is on the 'How to claim for employees and subsidy rates' page.

The Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (2) Act 2020 (Act No. 8 of 2020) was signed into law on Saturday 1 August 2020. It inserted section 28B into the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020. This provides for the introduction of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).

EWSS is an economy-wide enterprise support that focuses primarily on business eligibility. The scheme provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on the employer’s payroll and gross pay to employees.

The EWSS replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from 1 September 2020. It is expected to continue until 30 June 2021.

EWSS key features

  • Employers must possess valid tax clearance to enter the EWSS and continue to maintain tax clearance for the duration of the scheme.
  • A reduced rate of employer’s PRSI of 0.5% is charged on wages paid which are eligible for the subsidy payment.
  • Seasonal and new hires are eligible for the EWSS. Claims could have been backdated to 1 July 2020 (subject to limited exceptions).
  • Subsidy is based on an employee’s gross weekly wage, including notional pay, before deductions, and excluding non-taxable benefits.


Revenue has published a list of employers who received payments in 2020 under the EWSS. A list of 2020 recipients was published in January 2021. A list of recipients in quarter 1 2021 will be published in April and a list of recipients in quarter 2 will be published in July.

Compliance checks

To ensure that the scheme is operated as intended by the employer, Revenue are undertaking risk based real time compliance checks. We may undertake an assurance check programme at a later stage. Further details on how this future assurance check program will operate will issue prior to commencement.

Next: Qualifying criteria for employers