Revenue recently issued a press release and Guidelines on EWSS eligibility from 1 July 2021. There are changes to the assessment period used to determine eligibility for pay dates between 1 July and 31 December 2021. Crucially employers must complete a monthly EWSS Eligibility Review Form to avail of EWSS supports. The EWSS Eligibility Review Form will be available in ROS from Wednesday 21 July. The form must be submitted by 30 July in respect of June’s review and by the 15th of the following month in respect of July to November i.e., by 15 August for July’s review. Employers may need to act now to comply with the Eligibility Review Form criteria especially for June and July reviews given the timeframes involved.
An employer must demonstrate that their business is expected to experience a 30 percent reduction in turnover or customer orders in the period from 1 January to 31 December 2021 relative to:
the period 1 January to 31 December 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 January 2019;
where the business commenced trading between 1 January and 31 October 2019, from the date of commencement to 31 December 2019; or
where a business commenced on or after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or orders for 1 January 2021 (or date of commencement if later) to 31 December 2021 as if the pandemic had not occurred;
for pay dates on or between 1 July and 31 December 2021, and this disruption to normal operations is caused by COVID-19.
In a press release issued on the continued operation of the EWSS, Revenue detailed that eligibility for most businesses will be determined by comparing turnover or customer orders for the business for the calendar year 2021 with that of the calendar year 2019.
Included in the press release are examples of how the change to the assessment period applies to hairdressers, cafés or restaurants and ‘wet’ pubs.
Monthly review to check eligibility
Employers must now undertake a review on the last day of every month to ensure they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Employers must complete an EWSS Eligibility Review Form, which will be made available in ROS from 21 July. Completing and submitting an EWSS Eligibility Review Form to Revenue is required to continue to avail of EWSS supports with details of an employer’s monthly eligibility review check to be submitted by 30 July in respect of June’s review and by the 15th of the following month in respect of July to November. Further information on this form, the submission dates and the information to be included is included on page 7 of the Guidelines on eligibility for the EWSS from 1 July 2021.
EWSS subsidy rates
The current subsidy rates will continue to apply to EWSS payments for payroll submissions with pay dates between 1 July to 30 September 2021. Updates on the rates payable from 1 October 2021 are promised in good time in advance of this date.
Revenue is also reminding employers that the reduced rate of employer’s PRSI of 0.5 percent continues to apply to wages paid that are eligible for an EWSS subsidy payment.
Qualifying childcare businesses
Childcare businesses, registered in accordance with Section 58C of the Child Care Act 1991, are included in the EWSS. There is no requirement for such childcare businesses to meet the turnover test, but the other EWSS eligibility criteria such as registration and tax clearance must be met to access or continue to access payments under the scheme.
For more information see the Guidelines on eligibility for the EWSS from 1 July 2021. Detailed operational guidance in relation to the scheme can be found in the Main guidelines on the operation of the EWSS.