On the 21st January 2022, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe announced changes to Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) subsidy rates from 1st February.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions which were brought in last December, the enhanced rates of the EWSS were extended for all businesses for December 2021 and January 2022. As well as this, the scheme was reopened in December for certain businesses who were previously registered for the EWSS and experienced a reduction in turnover as a direct effect of these new restrictions. With these restrictions now lifted from 21st January, many businesses have returned to normal, and the EWSS rates are now changing in line with this.
From 1st February we will begin to see a gradual reduction in subsidy rates up until the scheme ends for all businesses in May. The EWSS rates which businesses are eligible to receive will depend on whether or not they were one of the businesses that were directly impacted by the COVID-19 regulations which were introduced in December.
The reduced rate of employer’s PRSI of 0.5% will continue to apply to wages paid before 1 March 2022 in relation to those who are eligible for the subsidy payment. The full rate of employers’ PRSI will be reinstated with effect from 1 March 2022 for all businesses.
For businesses that were directly impacted by the COVID-19 regulations that were introduced in December 2021, they will continue to receive the enhanced EWSS rates for the month of February, as outlined in the table below. For the month of March, the EWSS rates will revert to the original two-rate subsidy of €151.50 for employees with a gross weekly wage of between €151.50 to €202.99 and €203 for employees with a gross weekly wage of between €203 and €1461.99. For the months of April and May, businesses will receive a flat rate of €100 per employee. The scheme will eventually end for these businesses on 31st May 2022.
|Employee gross weekly wage||February 2022||March 2022||April 2022||May 2022|
|Less than €151.50||Nil||Nil||Nil||Nil|
|€151.50 to €202.99||€203||€151.50||€100||€100|
|€203 - €299.99||€250||€203||€100||€100|
|€300 - €399.99||€300||€203||€100||€100|
|€400 - €1,462||€350||€203||€100||€100|
For businesses that were not directly impacted by the COVID-19 regulations that were introduced in December 2021, the enhanced subsidy rate will end on 31st January, and they will receive the two-rate subsidy for the month of February. For the months of March and April, these businesses will receive a flat rate of €100 per employee. The scheme will then end for these businesses on 30th April 2022.
|Employee gross weekly wage||February 2022||March 2022||April 2022|
|Less than €151.50||Nil||Nil||Nil|
|€151.50 to €202.99||€151.50||€100||€100|
|€203 - €1462||€203||€100||€100|
Note: Revenue are working on updating their systems to cater for these changes. A BrightPay upgrade will also be released in line with these new changes.
On February 4th, BrightPay will be holding a free online webinar where we will be joined by representatives from Revenue to discuss recent EWSS changes and the updated guidance for employers. We will also have a questions and answers section at the end of the webinar where we will answer any questions you may have regarding the scheme.