Minister Donohoe publishes assessments of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

24th March, 2021

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Wednesday) published the assessments he has received to date on matters relevant to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), in compliance with the legislative obligation to monitor the scheme as set out in Section 28B of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020.


The EWSS is a central element of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic supporting businesses, encouraging employment and helping to maintain the link between employers and employees.  To date, payments of over €2.3 billion and PRSI credit of over €400 million have been granted to over 48,000 employers in respect of over 541,000 workers.


These papers analyse the data relating to the uptake of the scheme, noting that the coverage of the EWSS remains significant with over a quarter of all employers making a claim in January in relation to 15% of all employees in that month.


The objective of the EWSS is to support viable firms and encourage employment, so the papers also consider how the EWSS acts as an important bridge between social welfare payments like the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and regular employment which is the ultimate goal.


Commenting on the publication Minister Donohoe said: ‘The design of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is intended to be responsive to the continued changing environment around the COVID-19 pandemic, and allow for further adaptations as the COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Path Ahead is rolled out’.


“The scheme will play an important role in getting people back to work when public health restrictions are eased, thereby reducing the numbers dependent on social welfare payments over time, including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.


“Consideration is being given to the fact that continued support could be necessary out to the end of 2021 to help maintain viable businesses and employment and to provide businesses with certainty to the maximum extent possible. Decisions on the form of such support will take account of emerging circumstances and economic conditions as they become clearer.


“It is therefore appropriate the EWSS continues to be monitored in the coming weeks and months and such analysis will feed into my decision on the future of the scheme beyond the end of June 2021.”





Utilisation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) 4 March 2021


Utilisation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) 18 December 2020


Utilisation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) 12 October 2020