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Owner Directors will be included in the EWSS

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the announcement by his party colleague Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue and government that owner directors will not be excluded from the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme which is replacing the Temporary Wage Subsidy on the 1st of September.

Senator Cummins said “I had been contacted by several small and family owned businesses across Waterford in recent days expressing serious concern that the new EWSS as it was constituted would exclude them. They were fearful that the removal of financial support in its entirety would result in a cliff edge for them come the first of September, casting serious doubt over their viability”.

“I raised this matter at the Fine Gael parliamentary Party meeting on Wednesday evening and I welcome this evenings announcement by Minister Donohue that he will be including owner directors that have employees in the scheme. I certainly wasn’t a tenable position to exclude owner directors of small companies that are the lifeblood of our economy here in Waterford”.

He added “Since March Fine Gael in government has provided over €2 billion of support to over 62,000 employers via the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) covering over 600,000 workers. This has and continues to be a critical lifeline for many businesses”.

“The new Employment Wage Subsidy which passed through the Dail and Seanad this week aims to extend support to qualifying businesses until the 31st March 2021, marking a very significant contribution by the government to businesses right across Waterford and nationally. As many of the strictest public health restrictions on the economy have been eased, it is appropriate that the level of State subsidy be moderated, but it is also important to recognise that economic outputs are unlikely to return to normal for many businesses for much of the rest of 2020 because of the continued need to observe some requirements such as social distancing”.

“The replacement EWSS will deliver a per-head subsidy on a flat rate basis. This adaption from the TWSS will allow employers to rely on the continuation of support over a longer period of up to 8 months while also ensuring such support is sustainable and affordable. The 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will also continue to apply for employees that are eligible for the subsidy. This represents a considerable saving for the employer in addition to the flat rate subsidy”.

Senator Cummins concluded by saying “it is only right and proper that owners of small businesses that have kept their workers in employment are included in the new scheme. An issue still remains with businesses where the only employees are company directors but I will continue to engage with the Minister in relation to these”.

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