Following the Government meeting today (Tuesday), the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., has announced that there will be no change to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) for the month of October 2021.
This means that the EWSS will continue to operate in its current form during October 2021, so that the main eligibility requirement is a 30% decrease in turnover or customer orders in the full year 2021 compared to the full year 2019. The enhanced rates of support and the reduced rate of Employers’ PRSI will continue to apply for the month of October 2021.
No decisions have yet been taken as to the appropriate operational parameters for EWSS for the remainder of Quarter 4 2021 (November and December) and its possible extension beyond end-2021. The Minister is considering a range of possible options for the future of EWSS and such arrangements will be outlined on Budget Day, 12 October 2021.
While Government policy is to avoid a cliff-edge approach to the support schemes, as the recovery gains momentum, it will be necessary to give consideration to the recalibration and ultimately the phasing out the temporary support schemes. As such and as signalled previously, the Minister is considering the appropriate calibration of various elements and features of the EWSS. Speaking following today’s Government meeting, the Minister said
“The Government and I have committed on multiple occasions that there will be no “cliff edge” to supports for business. I am currently considering different options as regards the future of EWSS and I intend to outline the full arrangements on Budget Day. Pending those decisions, I am pleased to announce that the Government has agreed today that the EWSS will continue in its current form for the month of October which provides clarity and certainty for businesses”.
- The EWSS continues to represent a substantial and key part of the Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting businesses, encouraging employment and helping to maintain the link between employers and employees.
- As at the week ending 24 September, over €4.8 billion and PRSI credit of almost €770 million have been granted to 51,400 employers in respect of 660,400 employees.
- On 1 June 2021, as part of the Economic Recovery Plan, the Government agreed the extension of the EWSS to 31 December 2021. For Q3 2021, the Government decided to broadly maintain the status quo for EWSS, including the enhanced rates of support and the reduced rate of Employers’ PRSI with a modification to widen eligibility. For Q4 2021, the Government approved the extension of the EWSS, however, it was considered too early to prescribe the precise operational parameters of the scheme that should apply for that quarter.
- As signalled as part of the announcement on 1 June, with the recovery gaining further momentum, it is important that supports are calibrated in the longer-term interests of the firms that are in receipt of those supports and in the interests of the wider body of taxpayers.
- Consideration is being given to the appropriate calibration of EWSS and the future arrangements for EWSS will be outlined on Budget Day, 12 October 2021.
Contact: Aidan Murphy, Spokesperson for Minister Donohoe – 085 886 6667
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