Around 405,000 employees are currently having their pay supported by the Government through the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, according to the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

The total cost of the scheme has risen to €1.970 billion - just short of €2 billion - including €150 million in income tax refunds.

Over 698,000 employees have received at least one subsidy payment since the scheme was launched on 26 March, with 285,900 receiving a subsidy within the last week. 

That weekly figure can fluctuate depending on whether TWSS recipients are paid on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. 

More than 66,500 employers have registered with the Revenue for the TWSS, and of those, over 61,300 have already received subsidy payment. 

However, 12,900 employers have left the scheme, accounting for 84,000 out of an estimated 194,100 employee outflows. 

Reflecting the gradual reopening of the economy, 81,400 have moved from being laid off on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to jobs supported by the TWSS. 

A further 86,200 have left the PUP scheme for non-subsidised employment.

However, 28,000 employees who were previously in TWSS-supported jobs have now been laid off and are claiming the PUP.

The TWSS was launched to encourage employers to retain an empoyment link with workers rather than laying them off, so that it would be easier and quicker to resume economic activity when the coronavirus crisis ends. 

While the TWSS is scheduled to end in August, it is widely anticipated that it will be extended, though it is not yet clear to what extent its terms may be amended.