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Covid-19 Emergency Measures – Latest Update


The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) will cease to exist from 31st August 2020. A new Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) will be introduced from 31st July 2020 until 31st March 2021. This new scheme will run in parallel with the existing TWSS until its expiry and will continue to apply from 1st September 2020.

To qualify for this new scheme, the employer must demonstrate that its business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1st July and 31st December 2020. This is an increase of 5% from the TWSS. Also, the reduction is to be measured against the same period in 2019 or for new businesses, the projected turnover or orders.  Employers are required to review their qualification on the last day of every month and to de-register with effect from the following day (the 1st of the month) if it no longer meets the criteria. This could result in some businesses deregistering and re-registering throughout the period.

The level of subsidy the employers will receive per paid employee (per week) will be based on gross weekly wage rather than net, as follows:

Less than €151.50 – NIL

From €151.50 to €202.99 – €151.50

More than €203, less than €1,462 – €203

More than €1462 – NIL

The payments are now fully taxable but the employer’s PRSI rate for those on the EWSS will remain on the reduced rate of 0.5%.

This scheme will be applicable now to seasonal employees and new hires. The eligible employers under TWSS can now apply under EWSS. Non-TWSS employers, who have not availed TWSS previously, will be eligible to apply for EWSS.

More details here.


The PUP will be extended to April 2021. However it will be closed for new applicants from the 17th September 2020.  There will be three rates of payment from 17th September 2020:

Further changes have been proposed to be made in February and April 2021 to calibrate the rates and bring them in line with the Jobseeker payment.  More details here.


The Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020, a Bill to amend the Social Welfare Act was passed by the Dáil on 28th July 2020. The key features of the Bill are:

The Bill is now at the Seanad.


Restrictions: There has been huge confusions over the travel restrictions for the persons receiving PUP. It was announced earlier this week that the persons on PUP will lose the benefit if they travel abroad for non-emergency reasons. However, it was clarified, on 29th July, that as the Government is attempting to restrict travel to Green Areas, the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, Ms Humphrey will sign a regulation that will allow persons on PUP to travel to the Green Areas. However, for persons who have permanently left or intend to permanently leave the State, the Minister has clarified that no payment of PUP will be made. 

Ordinarily, persons on Jobseeker’s Allowance/Benefit could go on holiday for a maximum of two weeks and receive the two weeks payment upon their return. However it was argued by Ms Humphrey, Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, that this provision was always there in the legislation and the department chose the flexibility and that such flexibility never applied to PUP.

The person on PUP travelling to areas other than the announced Green Areas for non-emergency reasons will also have to forego the PUP and the 14 days’ allowance for self-quarantining upon their return. The Department of Social Protection has confirmed the position and further announced that this decision was to back the Government’s advice against non-essential travel. Any travel to the non-Green areas must be notified to the Intreo office in advance so that the PUP is not affected.


The standard rate of VAT will be reduced temporarily from 23% to 21%, effective from 1st September 2020 to 28th February 2021. This was announced under the July Job Stimulus Package on 23rd July 2020.


The Grant is being extended to a broader base of SMEs and expanded by €300 million. The payment level is being increased to maximum of €25000 from €10,000 and minimum grant payable has been increased from €2,000 to €4,000. Some businesses not previously included in the scheme, such as non-rated B&Bs, will now be eligible for the Grant.

Authors – Anne O’Connell & Chaitra Girish Mallya.

28th July 2020

Anne O’Connell


Fitzwilliam Hall

Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2


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