EWSS Changes from 1 February 2022

Author: Christelle Pretorius

    3 minute read    

Update 4 February 2022: 

Revenue’s system updates to allow for EWSS-PHR submissions are now live.

If you submitted payslips between 1 and 4 February with the EWSS item and intend to claim the new EWSS-PHR, you will need to correct and resubmit those payslips. This is done by unfinalising and refinalising the corrected payslip and then doing another submission - please reach out to us at [email protected] if you need assistance.

For more information on how to set up EWSS-Normal and EWSS-PHR on SimplePay please refer to our EWSS System Navigation help page.

Many businesses in Ireland have felt the direct impact of the Public Health Restrictions introduced this past December. This impact was further exacerbated with the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) initially set to expire on 30 April 2022. Fortunately, government has been quick to act and announced changes to the operation of EWSS with the aim to assist businesses as they fully reopen and emerge from the restrictions. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss the future of EWSS and its graduated exit strategy. For a short recap on the recent developments to the EWSS, please read our earlier blog.

Changes to the EWSS from 1 February 2022

From 1 February 2022, a separate system of wage support is applicable for businesses directly affected by the Public Health Restrictions (PHR) and that qualify for EWSS. This support will run until 31 May 2022. Businesses that were not impacted directly by the PHR will remain on the existing EWSS, which runs until 30 April 2022.

The following specific rules for each category are set to apply over the next few months:

Businesses NOT directly impacted by the Public Health Restrictions (EWSS-Normal)

  • These businesses may claim the enhanced rates of support under the 5 payment bands for December 2021 and January 2022. 
  • For February 2022, the two-rate structure of €151.50 and €203 will apply.
  • For March and April 2022, a flat rate subsidy of €100 will apply.
  • EWSS will end for these businesses on 30 April 2022.

Businesses DIRECTLY impacted by the Public Health Restrictions (EWSS-PHR)

  • These businesses will be entitled to continue to claim the enhanced rates of support for February 2022.
  • For March 2022, the two-rate structure of €151.50 and €203 will apply.
  • For April and May 2022, the flat rate subsidy of €100 will apply.
  • EWSS will end for these businesses on 31 May 2022.

Qualification Criteria for Re-entry to EWSS

Businesses may be eligible for re-entry to the scheme from 1 January to 30 April 2022 where they meet certain criteria. On the whole, businesses must experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders during a particular period. For more information regarding the qualification criteria, please see these Guidelines published by Revenue. 

End of Reduced rate of PRSI 

As part of the relief under the EWSS, employers are currently entitled to pay a reduced rate of PRSI at 0.5% on employee wages eligible for the subsidy payment. This will come to an end on 28 February 2022 and the full rate of employer’s PRSI will be reinstated for all businesses from 1 March 2022.

Changes to the SimplePay System

Our development team has made changes to SimplePay in order to cater for the new EWSS-PHR entitlement. Once Revenue has updated its system to allow for the EWSS-PHR submissions, a dropdown menu will be added to the Add Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme page. This will allow you to select the appropriate entitlement, whether EWSS-Normal or EWSS-PHR. 

Revenue has noted that the necessary changes for EWSS-PHR submissions will be actioned on their side between 1 and 4 February 2022. As a rule, employers are required to report payroll on or before the pay date which means that employers must still submit as normal between 1 and 4 February 2022. If employers plan to avail themselves to the EWSS-PHR and have submitted between 1 and 4 February 2022, they will need to re-submit with the new code once Revenue’s system changes have gone live.

For more detailed guidance on the operation of the scheme, please refer to Revenue’s updated Guidelines on the operation of EWSS.

If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay