Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

Qualifying criteria for employers


The TWSS ended on 31 August 2020 and was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. The information on this page is for reference purposes.

The TWSS was available to employers from all sectors whose business activities were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The TWSS was not available to the public service or non-commercial semi-state sector.

What employers qualified for the TWSS?

To qualify an employer must have been:

  • experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19
  • able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a minimum of a 25% decline in turnover
  • unable to fully pay normal wages and normal outgoings
  • and
  • retain their employees on the payroll, some of whom may have been:
    • temporarily not working
    • on reduced hours
    • on reduced pay.

An employer might have been eligible for the TWSS for some or all their employees, subject to their levels of pay.

Employers who stopped taking part in the TWSS

A business may have had reasonable grounds for assuming the economic impact of the pandemic made them eligible for the TWSS. After taking part in the TWSS an employer might have reviewed their position and the economic impact of the pandemic. If after this review they considered that they did not meet the qualifying criteria they should have immediately ceased claiming the subsidy.

Employers who stopped participating in the TWSS will be included in the:

  • reconciliation phase of the TWSS
  • published list of TWSS participants.

Claw-back of subsidy

Revenue will require evidence of the assumptions supporting the original self-assessment of eligibility. If the basis of the assumption was:

  • reasonable, Revenue will not seek to claw-back the subsidy refunded for the original period
  • not reasonable, the subsidy is repayable.

Next: Qualifying criteria for employees