The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will run from 1 September 2020. Any Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme submissions (J9) with a pay date after 31 August will be rejected by ROS.

The new scheme differs significantly from the TWSS. Employers will have to Register via ROS and have a tax clearance certificate. The subsidy is paid directly to the employer at these rates per eligible employee:

Employee weekly gross pay

Less than €151.50: No subsidy payable

151.50 to €202.99: Subsidy is €151.50

€203.00 to €1462.00: Subsidy is €203.00

More then €1462.00: No Subsidy payable


The Employer will process the payroll as usual, applying all relevant taxes and submit to Revenue. Revenue will then pay the subsidy to the employer. Nothing will appear on the Employee's payslip to indicate that the employer is in receipt of the subsidy. 

Employers will no longer have to download CSV files. Revenue will automatically calculate the refund amount.


Version 2020.13 of Payback is ready to cater for this scheme, and can be downloaded from here (You must be running version 2020.13 or later to use this scheme):

Note that EWSS submissions will not work until Revenue goes live with this scheme.

Registering for EWSS Step One

Before using EWSS, employers must first register for EWSS via the website. Employers have to be tax compliant before they do this.

It is difficult to find where to Register on the website. After logging in to ROS, scroll down until you see the Other Services heading. Click on the option that says Manage Tax Registrations

Registering for EWSS Step Two

Near the very bottom of the next screen is an option to Register for the Employment Wage Subsidy Screen.

Click this to continue your registration.

The Covid-19 Screen

The Covid-19 screen now has three tabs. To set up EWSS, please make sure that you've selected the EWSS tab.

You will notice that there are two tick boxes. If you used any of the Temporary Wage schemes (TWSS), ticking the first box will attempt to remove the employee elements for TWSS and reset the PRSI class from J9 to whatever it was before the scheme. If an employee was not paid for a pay date prior to going onto J9, the utility will not be able to determine the employee's OLD PRSI class and you'll have to manually update it in the PRSI/USC tab. Any processed elements in the payroll screen will not be removed. You should not tick this option if you did not avail of any TWSS schemes.

The second tick box automatically updates all employees in the current company to be in the EWSS scheme.

Manually putting an employee on EWSS

Not all employees may be eligible for EWSS. If you would like to take employees off the scheme, or add new ones onto it you can do this via the Contact tab of the employee screen.

There is a new check box called EWSS. Tick this and click the Update Employee button if you would like to include an employee in EWSS.

EWSS tick box in the Revenue Submission screen

It is Revenue's view that if an employer submits a payroll with EWSS selected for an employee who is paid too little or too much to get the subsidy, then this is an offence. Here is a excerpt of this from a recent email from Revenue:

"It is also our position that inclusion of the EWSS marker on employees in respect of whom a subsidy is not payable constitutes an offence by the employer under subsection (17)."  

(They are referring to the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 (inserted by the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No.2) Act 2020))

Due to this, we have had to include a tick box that stops any EWSS submissions where the weeky gross is outside of the €151.50 to €1,462 bandwidth. We have made this a tick box to give the user the option of submitting an EWSS submission outside of the range. This is because there are always going to be exceptions and we would not want to stop any legitimate EWSS claims. The gross pay calculations may also be incorrect. We also note that it is in the legislation that the bandwidth values can change.

This tick box defaults to ticked which means EWSS submissions outside of the range will not have the EWSS marker. You can see this in the XML tab. We recommend making sure that payments are well within the bands. (eg, use €153 instead of exactly €151.50 or €1460 instead of €1462) In case of rounding errors etc.

The EWSS Submission

When an employee has the EWSS tick box ticked in the employee screen, and either:

1. Their weekly gross pay falls in range and the Submission screen EWSS tick box is ticked


2. The Submission screen EWSS tick box is unticked.

Then EWSS is included in the submission. You can see this in the XML tab.


  • EWSS Payments should be taxed as usual, with all the normal rates of PAYE, PRSI and USCA 0.5% rate of employer’s PRSI will continue to apply for wages that are eligible for the subsidy. However, on receipt of payroll submissions, Revenue will apply a reduced rate of 0.5% employer’s PRSI in respect of eligible employees for whom a subsidy is payable. 
  • Nothing appears on the payslip given to the employee to indicate that EWSS was applied.
  • Payback automatically applies the 'EWSS' payment type to the 'Other Payments' section on the submission. The user does not have to make any separate submissions.

More information about the scheme can be found here:

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