Minister Donohoe calls on businesses impacted by Covid to check eligibility for business & income support schemes

25th February, 2021

  • EWSS and CRSS extended until 30 June
  • More than €11.5bn spent on Covid direct income supports + CRSS to date


The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, TD, has today (Thursday) confirmed that two important business supports, namely the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and Covid Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS), will remain in place until 30 June 2021. Minister Donohoe has today (Thursday) called on all businesses who are impacted by Covid-19 to check their eligibility for the range of income and business support schemes that are available at this time.


More than €11.5 billion has been spent on Covid-related direct income supports, such as the EWSS, PUP, TWSS, and the CRSS since the onset of the pandemic last year. These measures have been designed to ensure as far as possible that as many links between employers and employees are maintained so that return to work once the pandemic subsides is easier and those who have lost their jobs during this time are supported.


The EWSS is a central element of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic supporting businesses, encouraging employment and, crucially, helping to maintain the link between employers and employees. To date, payments of over €2 billion and PRSI credit of over €341 million have been granted to over 46,800 employers in respect of over 526,800 workers.


The CRSS provides targeted support for businesses directly impacted by public health restrictions with the result that they have had to temporarily close or significantly restrict access to their premises, with payments of over €323 million in respect of over 22,000 business premises made so far.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘The Government yesterday agreed the priorities for the reopening of society in the coming weeks and months, which includes a cautious, but necessary, approach on the reopening of the economy’.


“It is likely that public health restrictions will remain in place for some businesses through early spring, so it is appropriate that business supports remain in place until at least the end of June 2021.


“As the Covid Plan, Covid-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 The Path Ahead, is rolled out, the EWSS will play an important role in getting people back to work as public health restrictions are eased, thereby reducing the numbers dependent on social welfare payments over time, including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).


“I would also remind employers of the availability of the CRSS, which will continue for those businesses who are required to prohibit or considerably restrict customers from accessing their premises as a result of the public health restrictions. I am calling on all businesses who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic to check their eligibility for the various schemes and ensure that they are availing of their entitlements.


“The Government has made an unprecedented level of resources available to ensure the safety of our people and in the hope that as many of our viable businesses will come through this as possible. We will continue to provide these supports while they are needed. More than €11.5 billion has been made available to date to deal with this disease. I would encourage all eligible firms to apply for the schemes to help see them through the coming and challenging period.”


Notes for Editor

The estimated cost of the extension of the EWSS is €1.14 billion of direct subsidy payments to employers and a further €180 million in relation to the reduced rate of Employers’ PRSI;  a total of €1.32 billion overall. 

The estimated cost of the CRSS extension is in excess of €240 million, based on the current cost of c.€20 million per week.

Both schemes are demand led so any surge in claims may have a significant impact on these estimates and they may be revisited in the coming weeks and months.

The costs will met out of resources allocated for Covid contingency funding

Covid-Related Supports to date


Support € billion
TWSS 3.00
EWSS (incl PRSI foregone) 2.34
CRSS 0.32
PUP 6.00
Total 11.66