As previously announced, Finance Act 2021 extended the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) from the original scheme end date of 31 December 2021 to 30 April 2022. On 23 December 2021, Revenue released updated guidance on the operation of the EWSS which will apply for eligible employers who were correctly registered for the EWSS at 31 December 2021.

The updated guidance provides clarity on:

  1. The flat-rate subsidy to be paid for pay dates between 1 January 2022 and 30 April 2022 to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the payroll;
  2. The reduced rate of employer PRSI of 0.5% applying to wages paid in respect of eligible employees up to 28 February 2022; and
  3. Guidelines for employers who were not eligible for the EWSS as at 31 December 2021 but may now re-enter the scheme where certain conditions are met. 

Continued eligibility for the EWSS

Employers who met the below criteria as at 31 December 2021 may continue to avail of the EWSS up to 30 April 2022 unless the employer voluntarily opts to de-register from the scheme.

  1. The employer continues to hold a valid tax clearance for the duration of the scheme;
  2. The employer is registered for and received payments under the EWSS; and
  3. The employer meets the qualifying criteria for the reduction in turnover/customer orders at the end of 2021 (i.e. a 30% reduction in turnover/customer orders for the period January – December 2021).

Eligibility for re-entry to the EWSS

In addition to the above, it was announced by the Minister for Finance that the EWSS would be reopened to certain employers who are impacted by the public health restrictions announced on 17 December 2021 and were previously eligible for the EWSS but as at 31 December 2021 were ineligible for the scheme.

To be eligible for re-entry to the EWSS for the period 1 January to 30 April 2022, an employer must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of Revenue that:

  • Tax clearance is in place for the duration of the scheme;
  • The trade existed at 31 December 2021;
  • The employer correctly availed of EWSS at any stage between 1 September 2020 and 31 December 2021;
  • The employer did not qualify for the EWSS under the previous scheme rules as they did not expect a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders value between the calendar years 2019 and 2021;
  • The employer’s business is expected to experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders value in the period from 1 December 2021 to 31 January 2022; and
  • The disruption to normal operations is caused by COVID-19.

The reduction in turnover or customer orders outlined above is relative to:

  • The period 1 December 2019 to 31 January 2020 compared with the period 1 December 2021 to 31 January 2022 where the business was in existence prior to 1 May 2019; or
  • Where the business commenced trading in the period from 1 May 2019 and 31 December 2021, the average monthly actual turnover or orders value from August to November 2021 compared with the average actual monthly turnover or orders value for December 2021 and projected turnover or orders value January 2022.

Process for re-entering the EWSS

Once an employer has determined they are eligible to re-enter the EWSS, in line with prior announcements, employers are required to complete a template as outlined in Revenue guidance providing details of and submit to Revenue by 15 January 2022 via MyEnquiries.

Revenue will then carry out a review of the submission and register the business for the EWSS if eligible. The employer will receive a notification via MyEnquiries confirming whether they have been re-registered, effective 1 January 2022, or not for the scheme.

If an employer who is eligible to re-enter the scheme submitted a payroll prior to Revenue re-registering the employer for the scheme and an EWSS claim was not included in the payroll submission, the payroll submission should be amended to include the EWSS claim.

Review on 31 January 2022

Employers will be required to review their eligibility on 31 January 2022 to ensure actual January 2022 results are not at a level where they do not meet the re-entry requirements.

In such instances, employers should deregister through “Manage Tax Registration” on ROS with effect from the following day (that being the 1 February 2022) and cease claiming the subsidy immediately.

If an employer becomes aware prior to the end of January 2022 that they will no longer meet the eligibility criteria, they should de-register immediately and cease to claim subsidies.

EWSS rates 1 January to 30 April 2022

The below table summarises the flat rate subsidy payable to eligible employers in respect of eligible employees for the pay dates outlined:

Subsidy rates payable per pay date

Employee gross weekly wage

1 to 31 January 2022

From 1 to 28 February 2022

From 1 March to 30 April 2022

Less than €151.50

Nil

Nil

Nil

From €151.50 to € 202.99

€203

€151.50

€100

From €203 to €299.99

€250

€203

€100

From €300 to €399.99

€300

€203

€100

From €400 to €1,462

€350

€203

€100

More than €1,462

Nil

Nil

Nil

Get in touch

If you have any queries on the scheme discussed above, please contact Thalia O'TooleOlive O'Donoghue or Claire Davey of our People Services team. We'd be delighted to hear from you.