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The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

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This guide provides information on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) when using Sage Payroll.


The EWSS scheme provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the number of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.

 NOTE: All payroll related Covid-19 subsidy schemes have now ended, with the last of them, the extended scheme EWSS-PHR, ending on the 31 May 2022.

You can follow the steps in this handy guide to Disable all employees from Covid-19 subsidy schemes.


Key information 

  • The latest registrations for the EWSS scheme opens on ROS from 4 February 2022.
  • Employers must have a Tax Clearance Certificate with Revenue before being eligible for the scheme.
  • From 1 September 2020, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
  • The EWSS scheme is expected to continue until 30 April 2022.
  • No special payment will be processed - employers will receive a reduction in the liability to Revenue in the month following a payroll submission including employees selected for EWSS.
  • Eligible employers may backdate a claim to 1 July 2020 for EWSS payments in respect of new hires and seasonal workers, subject to limited exceptions.

Qualifying criteria

You must be able to demonstrate:

  • Your business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1 July 2019 and 31 April 2022.
  • This disruption is caused by COVID-19.

This reduction in turnover or orders is relative to:

  • The same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 July 2019.
  • The date of commencement to 31 December 2022 or;
  • where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or orders.

To ensure you continue to meet the above eligibility criteria, you're required to undertake a review on the last day of every month to ensure you continue to meet the above eligibility criteria.

Employer PRSI

For eligible employees, Employer PRSI will be charged at 0.5%. Employer PRSI will be recalculated by Revenue on receipt of a payroll submission and the liability to Revenue will be reduced accordingly.

Subsidy support

The level of subsidy under the new scheme will be simplified, and consist of the following new thresholds and rates from 1 February 2022:

Gross weekly payRevised Rates
Less than €151.50Nil
€151.50 – €202.99€203
€203 - €299.99€250
€300 - €399.99€300
€400 - €1,462€350
Over €1,462Nil

You can find further information about the scheme from Revenue's website as well as published guidance.

Processing EWSS for your employees

Before you process EWSS for your employees, you must indicate the employees you want to include in the scheme.

There are two methods to do this:

  • You can update all employees at once using the new global change process. Read more >
  • You can update an individual employee in their employee records, or on timesheets. Read more >

Processing Time and Pay for eligible employees

Unlike the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, EWSS doesn't require you to process a separate payment on the timesheet. You process the employee's pay as normal and ensure you select EWSS in the Covid-19 Subsidy area. 

 Important Notes: 

  • If the employee is in receipt of less than €151.50 or more than €1462.00 per insurable week in the period, then you must clear the Covid-19 subsidy checkbox as the employee is not eligible and Revenue won't refund any value related to that employee.
  • Based on Revenue's guidance, EWSS should not be processed in a bonus period under any circumstance.

Completing your payroll

After you save your timesheets and complete your other normal payroll tasks, you should complete your Payroll Submission to Revenue.

When complete a payroll submission that includes employees selected for EWSS, a new field appears in the submission wizard indicating the number of employees included.

Reductions in liability from Revenue

Revenue review payroll submissions from employers that are included in the scheme and reduce liability by the 14th of the following month.