Changes to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

| James Sherwin

Employee Wage Subsidy SchemeThe recent budget brought about changes to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). The changes to the scheme are set to provide a ‘lifeline’ to businesses and those whose jobs may be at risk during this time. It is also to ensure as many employees can retain the link with their employer, allowing them to return to the workforce at the earliest opportunity.

It is important to note that the payment is now linked to a person’s prior earnings and will now have four earnings related bands. These changes ensure that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is fairer, more equitable and sustainable and have allowed Government to extend the payment until next April.

The primary changes to the EWSS are:

  • In relation to PUP, the Government has now introduced a fourth rate of payment for people whose gross earnings were €400 per week or higher prior to the pandemic.
  • They will now receive €350 in their PUP payment with the rate change taking effect for all new applications received since Friday, 16th October.
  • Existing PUP recipients who previously earned more than €400 per week will have their PUP rate automatically increased and will receive the higher rate of €350 in next week’s payment run.
  • The other three rates of PUP payment (€203, €250 and €300) remain unchanged.
  • Where the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme is concerned the qualifying turnover criteria for application to the scheme is now 25 per cent of the turnover for the corresponding period in 2019. This will allow more business to access this support.


The new rates are as follows:

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme:

Revised rates:

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


If you want advice or guidance on the latest changes to the EWSS Scheme or how it affects your business, please call us today on: 01 663 2000

For a free initial conversation call