The Revenue Commissioners are to speed up the payment of wage subsidies to employers under the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The move may assist businesses with cash flow difficulties.

The Government had already announced increased rates of subsidy ranging from €151.50 to €350. The previous maximum had been €203.

However, employers had complained of cash flow problems because there was a six-week turnaround to receive payment, compared with 48-hours for the previous Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The Revenue has now announced that instead of subsidies being payable a month in arrears, the first EWSS payments in respect of November payrolls will be made in early November, rather than by 5 December. 

Subsequent payments for November will be paid following receipt of a payroll submission containing an EWSS claim. 

"This means EWSS will be paid on a similar basis to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), providing a significant positive cashflow boost for businesses," the Revenue statement said.

The new arrangements will apply to payroll submissions on or after 20 October, 2020.

In future the EWSS will also be available to firms forced to close due to the imposition of Level 5 restrictions but who keep their employees on the payroll.

"The combination of the increased subsidy rates and making EWSS payments in as close as possible to 'real-time' following the receipt of relevant payroll submissions will enable employers, in so far as possible, to retain the very important links with their employees during this very difficult period and be prepared for when business levels start to resume," the Revenue Commissioners said in a statement. 

Revenue confirmed that to date, 39,300 employers have registered for EWSS. Revenue has paid €257 million to 33,100 employers in respect of 344,100 employees for EWSS claims for September.