Employers' organisation Ibec has written to the Taoiseach calling for a full restoration of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) for the duration of the current period of restrictions.

The group has argued that the repurposing of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) alone will not be sufficient as a business support response to the latest restrictions on firms.

It claims a full restoration of the EWSS is the most effective and fair policy response to the disruption and substantial lost business caused by the latest Government restrictions.

The organisation has warned the most vulnerable of businesses will not be able to avoid job losses under existing Covid support schemes.

"We know from our experience of working with business over the past 21 months of the Covid crisis, that the EWSS support is highly effective in targeting supports at firms experiencing significant turnover collapse, of at least 30%, across every sector of the economy," wrote Ibec CEO, Danny McCoy, in his letter to Micheal Martin.

"From its inception the scheme took time to bed-in, which involved months of close contact between Ibec and the Revenue Commissioners to identify gaps in the scheme, optimise scheme operations and deliver clarifications needed in guidance."

"It doesn’t make sense at this stage of the crisis to attempt to start from scratch by redesigning schemes which may ultimately fail to support firms, in whatever sector, which continue to carry the burden of Covid restrictions."

The Ibec boss argued that the EWSS is the proven and effective scheme which has been shown to deliver much needed liquidity and support to impacted businesses in a very timely way.

"Crucially, it has also kept employees connected with their employers and helped the Experience Economy to retain workers at a time when the competition for skills across the economy has been particularly acute," he added.

Mr McCoy said businesses in the hospitality and events sectors have clearly taken a heavy hit to their bookings for the festive period.

However, he added that the knock-on impacts spread right across the "Experience Economy" and in related transport sectors, hurting businesses and workers throughout the supply chain.

He said given the performance of the economy, there is no fiscal or other logic for curtailing supports at a time when new restrictions have been introduced.

"Ibec will continue to support the phased withdrawal of these schemes when restrictions are significantly removed as we have in recent months, however, that time is not now given the reintroduction of Covid related restrictions," Mr McCoy wrote in the letter, which was also copied to the Tanaiste, as well as a number of other ministers whose departments cover impacted businesses.