The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) was legislated for under the recently enacted Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020. The EWSS provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers, based on the number of qualifying employees on the payroll.
The eligibility period to be reviewed for comparative purposes relates to the trade or business, rather than the operating entity. The eligibility criteria for EWSS states that an employer must be able to demonstrate that his or her business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020, by reference to the corresponding period in 2019, as a result of business disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, an employer must be able to demonstrate that his or her business will experience a 30% reduction in the projected turnover or orders between 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.
I have been advised by Revenue that where a company moves its trading operations from one company to a another on or after 1 January 2020, the comparative review period will be the 2019 turnover of the first company which traded during 2019.
Eligible employers, or their payroll or financial agents, can register for EWSS through ROS. However, an employer should ensure there is a reasonable and durable basis to the eligibility review carried out as regards the potential drop in turnover or orders.
Furthermore, employers must undertake a review of the six month period on the last day of every month to be satisfied whether they continue to meet the above eligibility criteria and to take the necessary action of withdrawing from the scheme where they do not. This review must be undertaken on a rolling basis measuring the actual and projected business performance over the specified period of July to December 2020.
Generally, where the trading operations of a company change from one company to another, the new company may be eligible for the employment wage subsidy scheme provided the eligibility criteria is met. However, without knowing the full details of the company referred to in the question, it would be appropriate for the company that has concerns or requires any specific advice regarding the EWSS eligibility requirements, to contact Revenue’s National Employer Helpline at telephone 01-7383638.