Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

Qualifying criteria for employers and eligible employees

Employers must ensure they have tax clearance from Revenue in order to be eligible for the EWSS.

You can check your tax clearance status through Revenue Online Service (ROS). If you do not currently have tax clearance, you can make an application using the eTax clearance service.

Qualifying criteria for employers

To qualify for the EWSS, as well as having tax clearance, you must be able to show that:

  • your business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020
  • and
  • Covid-19 is the cause of this disruption.

Reduction in turnover

The reduction in turnover or customer orders is shown compared to:

  • 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 customer orders.


Revenue expects you to retain evidence of appropriate documentation, including copies of projections to demonstrate continued eligibility over the specified period.

Monthly review to check eligibility

You are required to undertake a review on the last day of every month to ensure you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

July 2020 and the final month of the EWSS are exempt from this requirement.

Actions to take if you no longer qualify

You may find, after your monthly review, that you no longer qualify. If this is the case, you must:

  • deregister from the EWSS
  • cease claiming the subsidy.

You must do this through ROS, with effect from the following day of the review (that being the first day of the month).

Qualifying childcare businesses

Childcare businesses, registered in accordance with Section 58C of the Child Care Act 1991, are included in the scheme. There is no requirement to meet the turnover test mentioned above.

Eligible employees

During the EWSS, you can claim a subsidy for eligible employees on the payroll of an impacted business. Employees are eligible if they are in receipt of weekly gross wages between €151.50 and €1,462.

This is subject to exemptions.

Exemption for certain proprietary directors

It has been agreed that the subsidy can be claimed for certain proprietary directors. This is in recognition of the key role played by certain proprietary directors in providing employment. Especially in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.

You can claim the subsidy for proprietary directors if:

  • you meet the eligibility criteria for the EWSS
  • and
  • the proprietary director is on your payroll
  • and
  • you paid wages to the proprietary director which were reported to Revenue on your payroll at any stage between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.


Where a person is a proprietary director of two or more eligible companies, a claim for the EWSS can only be submitted for a single company.

Exemptions for newly hired connected parties

These are connected parties who were not on the payroll and paid at any time between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. Connected parties include, an individual's or their spouse’s:

  • brother or sister
  • aunt or uncle
  • niece or nephew
  • linear ancestor or descendant.

Exemption for employees employed otherwise than as part of a business

Examples of these employees, are domestic employees such as:

  • childminders
  • housekeepers
  • gardeners.

Next: Registration and operation of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme