Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Department of Finance
19. To ask the Minister for Finance if the employment wage subsidy scheme will continue to be made available to childcare providers in quarter 4 of 2021 without the income reduction requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48549/21]
Section 28B of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 provides for the operation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which is an economy-wide enterprise support for eligible businesses in respect of eligible employees. It provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll and charges a reduced rate of employer PRSI of 0.5% on wages paid which are eligible for the subsidy payment.
As the Deputy will be aware, special arrangements are provided for within the EWSS legislation in respect of childcare businesses.
I have been clear that there will be no cliff-edge to the EWSS and, as the Deputy will be aware from announcements made in June, it has been decided that the scheme is now to be extended until the end of December 2021. For Q3 2021, the Government has decided to broadly maintain the status quo for EWSS, including the enhanced rates of support, with a modification to widen eligibility, and maintaining the reduced rate of Employers’ PRSI of 0.5%.
Further, as announced on Tuesday 28thSeptember, the Government has agreed that there will be no change to the EWSS for the month of October 2021, which means that the scheme will continue to operate in its current form as per the arrangements for Q3 2021. Issues around the configuration of the scheme beyond October are currently being considered and full details will be announced on Budget Day, 12 October 2021.
The Government remains fully committed to supporting businesses and employers insofar as is possible at this time.