Big Red Book Payroll Support

Please see the below information in relation to the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) replaces the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and initially ran from September 1st 2020 until March 31st 2021. It was extended until 30th June 2020. Details of this scheme can be found here.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced the Government to provide financial support to workers whose employers are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to pay the employee. Originally approved for 12 weeks, on 5 June 2020 the scheme was extended until the end of August 2020.

TWSS Reconciliation

The TWSS Reconciliation process has now closed. Once any assessment has been issued in relation to TWSS Reconciliation it must be paid immediately, or debt warehousing/deferred payments must be arranged.

TWSS Reconciliation – Overview

TWSS Reconciliation Webinar

Questions answered in the Q&A during this webinar can be found here

TWSS Reconciliation Information from Big Red Book:

Big Red Book Slides from TWSS Reconciliation Webinar (Slides PDF)

TWSS Reconciliation Information from Revenue:

Renenue Guide to TWSS Reconciliation (PDF)

TWSS Reconciliation

Contacting Revenue

Initial Queries should be directed to Revenue. Big Red Book cannot easily assist queries regarding decisons Revenue have made regarding TWSS. Due to the detailed nature of TWSS, Revenue recommend that any queries regarding TWSS Reconciliation be made via MyEnquiries and not via phone. Revenue will filter such MyEnquiries and have dedicated TWSS Reconciliation teams available to review and better assist these cases.

  • Select that the query relates to ‘Employers’ PAYE’ and more specifically ‘TWSS + Reconciliation’ and provide as detailed a description as possible including the Employee’s PPSN and pay date, where appropriate.

Why is TWSS Reconciliation Required?

During the Transitional phase of the TWSS, the ‘Subsidy Repaid by Revenue’ was €410 per qualifying payslip per week or a multiple for fortnightly and monthly pay frequencies as they had no visibility of the actual ‘Subsidy Paid’ to each employee.

Employer’s were advised by Revenue to hold the balance for future refund back to Revenue.

During the Operational phase of the TWSS, the ‘Subsidy Repaid by Revenue’ was equal to the ‘Subsidy Payable’ based on the rules of the TWSS.

The aim of the reconciliation is to:

  1. Establish the actual ‘Subsidy Paid’ amounts which were paid to each employee (Stage 1)
  2. Determine the ‘Subsidy Payable’ to each employee based the rules of the TWSS or ERS (Stage 2)
  3. Calculate and address any Revenue Subsidy Refunds or Employer Subsidy Repayments required (Stage 2)

Stage 1 was to be completed by employers before the end of October 2020.

See for further information.

TWSS Reconciliation Process

Stage 1.

Employer reports ‘Subsidy Paid’ to Employee per Payslip.

The ‘Subsidy Paid’ to employees will be used to reconcile and determine the amount of ‘Subsidy Repaid by Revenue’, if any, due back to Revenue from employers or due to employers from Revenue. The information will also be used to update employees’ records to correctly charge income tax and USC, as part of the End of Year review procedure to tax employees on the TWSS payments.

Due to how the scheme needed to be implemented as quickly as possible, these ‘Subsidy Paid’ amounts were not initially reportable to Revenue. Once Revenue updated their Payroll Submission Service to allow the amount to be included, these values were then included in Submissions made using Payroll Version 20.09.00 onwards.

In Payroll Version 20.10.06 a utility was added to ROS > Resubmit Wage Subsidy that allows employers re-submit any submissions for Employer Refund Scheme or TWSS that did not originally include the ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount in order for the amount to be reported to Revenue.

The predecessor to the TWSS was the Employer Refund Scheme (ERS). This scheme ran from 12th March to 25th March. It provided for a flat €203 for a qualifying employee. The ‘Subsidy Paid’ by employers to employees under this scheme is also required to be submitted.

The ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount can alternatively be uploaded via a ‘Revenue CSV’ that can be created in Reports > Wage Subsidy Enquiry. Details of how to upload this CSV can be found here.

You can view your up to date position of ‘Subsidy Paid’ data already submitted through the Revenue Online Service (ROS) under the category, ‘TWSS Reconciliation’.

Stage 2.

All active payslips that have been submitted with a TWSS amount will be examined to determine the ‘Subsidy Payable’ amount for each payslip based on the rules of TWSS.

Revenue will then reconcile based on ‘Subsidy Repaid by Revenue’ less

  • Caseworker resolved – this will take priority
  • ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount is less than ‘Subsidy Payable’ amount – reconcile on the ‘Subsidy
  • Paid’ amount
  • ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount is more than ‘Subsidy Payable’ amount by a small amount (to be
  • determined) – reconcile on the ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount
  • ‘Subsidy Paid’ amount is more than ‘Subsidy Payable’ amount by more than a small
  • amount (to be determined) – reconcile on the ‘Subsidy Payable’ amount

Once employers accept the reconciliation, a Statement of Account will be sent to the employer’s ROS inbox. They will then either:

  • be paid any additional amount due by Revenue, or
  • repay any amount owed to Revenue via RevPay in ROS, or eligible employers can avail of debt warehousing.

TWSS – Overview

TWSS Webinar – Operational Phase

A list of the FAQs covered during this webinar can be found here

TWSS – Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

1. Download ROS TWSS CSV File

2. TWSS Importing Revenue CSV

3. TWSS Making Payments in the Operational Phase

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme – Up to 4th of May 2020

1. COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Webinar – Transitional Phase up to May 4th 2020

A list of the FAQs covered during the webinar can be found here

2. Setting up Payroll 2020 to use the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme for the Transitional Phase

3. Making Payments Under The Wage Subsidy Scheme – Pay Run Dates up to May 4th 2020

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

This is an Emergency Scheme put together in a very short time. The details of how it operates, eligibility etc. are subject to change so Employers must refer the Revenue for information on eligibility, refunds etc.

The Transitional Phase ran from March 26th until May 3rd 2020.

The Operational Phase runs from May 4th. It will require Payroll version 20.09.00 or later, as well as the TWSS CSV file that will be available from ROS from May 4th 2020.

FAQs: Operational phase of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

FAQs: Employee guide for TWSS 

Direct Download Revenue Subsidy Calculator Excel File

Direct Download Revenue CSV Sample Subsidy Calculator Excel File

FAQs: Transitional phase of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Revenue Guidance on the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme for taxpayers and agents

COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs

DCYA Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme

See the helpfile in Payroll 2020 for how to setup and make payments or view our video guides above.

Calculation of Wage Subsidy and Allowable Additional Payments during the Transitional Phase are provided to assist you in availing of the scheme.

In the Operational Phase, Payroll will calculate the wage subsidy to be paid based on details in the Revenue TWSS CSV and the additional payment being made.

It is the Employers responsibility to ensure that eligibility and the Wage Subsidy amount are correct.

What’s included on this page is subject to change. All guidance is still subject to Employers and Employees qualifying for the scheme. Always check and the links above for the latest information.

Making an Application for the Wage Subsidy Scheme:

Any employer, already registered with Revenue for the purposes of the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, is not required to take any further action. The employer may make payroll submissions from 26 March 2020 under the subsidy scheme arrangements on the same basis as they were doing for the Employer Refund Scheme.

Employers, or their agents, wishing to register for the scheme can apply to Revenue by carrying out the following steps:

  • Log on to Revenue MyEnquiries
  • Select ‘Add New Enquiry’.
  • In ‘Enquiry Relates to’ select ‘COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy.
  • In ‘More Specifically’ select ‘COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Declaration.
  • Read the declaration carefully and press the ‘Submit Enquiry’ button.
  • Log on to ROS and in ‘Manage bank accounts’, ‘Manage EFT’, ensure that the bank account details provided are correct.
    • IMPORTANT: ROS allows an employer to specify both a tax payment bank account and a tax refund bank account. This can be the same account but you must specify a valid refund bank account for PAYE EMP (PREM) refunds.

The Temporary COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy CSV file can be downloaded from ROS.

  • Log into ROS and in the ROS My Services tab select “Request RPNs”
  • Select “Request Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme calculation”
  • Select “Request Calculation.”
  • Enter your password in the “Sign and Submit” screen
  • The CSV file with the calculation for each employee has been successfully downloaded and should be available in your browser downloads folder.
  • See Revenue FAQ Appendix 2.2 for more


General Information:

  • The Scheme is based on the average Net Pay as Submitted to Revenue for Pay Runs dates in January and February.
    • This is calculated as Gross Pay less Tax, USC and EE PRSI, divided by the number of insurable weeks (Weeks are capped at 9)
  • In the transitional phase, up to May 4th, Employers can pay a Wage Subsidy amount equal to 70% of the employee’s net weekly pay up to:
    • a maximum of €410 per week where the average net weekly pay is less than or equal to €586
      • or
    • a maximum of €350 per week where the average net weekly pay is greater than €586 and less than or equal to €960.
  • From 16 April 2020, the wage subsidy is available to support employees where their average Revenue net weekly pay for January and February 2020 was greater than €960, and their current salary has now fallen below €960 per week, as well as falling by a minimum of 20%, subject to the tiered arrangements and tapering to ensure that the net pay does not exceed €960 per week. See Revenue for more details.
  • In the operational phase, pay runs that are submitted from May 4th onward will be subject to the following rules.
    • Employees with Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP) of up to €412 –
      • a subsidy equal to 85% of their ARNWP will be available up to a maximum of €350. In addition, if the level of subsidy falls below €350, there is now provision for the employer to pay an additional payment above 15% of ARNWP to bring pay up to €350 without affecting their subsidy entitlement
    • Employees with ARNWP of over €412 and up to €500 –
      • subsidy of €350 is payable once the subsidy plus additional payment do not exceed the ARNWP
    • Employees with ARNWP of over €500 and up to €586 –
      • no changes in their position i.e. subsidy remains at 70% of ARNWP up to a maximum of €410 once the subsidy plus additional payment do not exceed the ARNWP
    • Employees with ARNWP of over €586 –
      • once the subsidy plus additional payment do not exceed the ARNWP or €960, whichever is lower, a maximum subsidy of €350 is payable subject to a tiered approach, which is linked to the level at which the employer is paying an additional payment as follows:
        • Up to 60% of the employee’s previous ARNWP, the maximum amount of the subsidy will be €350, subject to Subsidy plus Additional Pay being €960 or less.
        • More than 60% but not more than 80% of the employee’s previous ARNWP, the maximum amount of the subsidy will be €205, subject to Subsidy plus Additional Pay being €960 or less.
    • No subsidy is payable, and the employee does not qualify for the scheme where
      • Gross Pay plus Subsidy exceeds €350 for those with an ARNWP of €350 or less
      • Gross Pay exceeds ARNWP for those on €350 up to €586 per week, or
      • Gross Pay exceeds 80% of ARNWP for those over €586
  • Revenue’s TWSS CSV must be downloaded from ROS and imported to Payroll in order to continue availing of the TWSS in the Operational Phase.
    • CSV Files were initially generated over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd May 
      • CSV Files were available to download in ROS from Monday May 4th. 
      • Employees ‘on the payroll’ on or before Friday May 1st were included in the CSV.
    • CSV files were refreshed on Monday May 18th 
      • Employees rehired between May 2nd and May 17th were also included in the CSV .
    • CSV files will be refreshed daily from Friday May 22nd – Refreshed CSVs will be available each morning from Tuesday – Saturday 
      • Employers should ensure that employees are rehired at least one day before planned pay date in order to be included in a refreshed CSV before payment is made.
  • The employee must be on the payroll on 29 February 2020 and the employer must, between 1 February 2020 and 15 March 2020, have made payroll submissions for payments to the employee to Revenue with pay-dates between 1 Feb 2020 and 29 Feb 2020.
    • From April 16th onward, this criteria has been changed to require submission to be made by April 1st, instead of March 15th.
  • Employers will be able to make an additional payment, subject to PAYE and USC and PRSI at “J9” rates.
  • Income tax, USC, LPT, if applicable, and PRSI are not deducted from the Temporary Wage Subsidy. However, the Subsidy will be liable to Income Tax and USC on review at the end of the year.
  • Any Income Tax and USC refunds that arise as a result of the application of tax credits and rate bands can be repaid by the employer and Revenue will also refund this amount to the employer.
  • Employers must not operate this scheme for any employee who is making a claim for duplicate support (e.g. Pandemic Unemployment Payment) from the DEASP.
  • During the Transitional Phase, Revenue refunded €410 per employee per week. This was generally above the entitlement for the employee. Employers were directed to hold onto any over payment for later return to Revenue.
  • During the Operational Phase, based on the information provided in payroll submissions and adherence to the maximum limits, described above, Revenue will credit employers with the Temporary Wage Subsidy paid to each employee.
  • In the Transitional Phase of this scheme, employers must work out the payment that can be made to the employees i.e. the subsidy payment and the maximum additional payment allowed. We will provide figures within Payroll to help with this.
  • In the Operational Phase, from May 4th onward, Revenue will inform employers how much they can pay via subsidy, and the maximum aditional payment allowed. These details will be supplied in a CSV file from ROS, which will be imported into Payroll. Payroll will calculate the subsidy payable based on the details in the CSV and the additional payment being made.
  • Any Income Tax and USC refunds that arise as a result of the application of tax credits and rate bands can be repaid by the employer and this amount will also be refunded to the employer by Revenue.
  • Revenue will make the refund payments to Employers generally within 2 days of the payment details being submitted.
    • Submissions made more than 4 days in advance of the pay date will not be refunded until 4 days before the pay date.
  • Penalties will apply to any abuse of the Subsidy scheme by self-declaring incorrectly, not providing funds to employees or non-adherence to Revenue, and any other relevant, guidelines.

Employees returning to employment after Maternity, Adoptive or Parental leave or employees who received certain DEASP benefit payments. 

  • An eligible employer can request Revenue to treat an employee as an eligible employee for the purposes of this scheme where that employee returns (or is due to return in the coming weeks) to employment following Maternity, Adoptive, Paternity or Parental leave, or directly related unpaid leave, or was in receipt of Health and Safety benefit, Parent’s benefit, or Illness benefit paid by DEASP for the month of February 2020. Revenue has established a new system to process these cases
    • Log on to ROS MyEnquiries, click Add A New Enquiry and select the current category ‘Covid-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy’, Subcategory: “TWSS -Maternity and other Benefits”. 
    • In MyEnquiries the employer can access a link to download a simple form (in excel format). The employer must complete the details for each relevant employee and “save” the form. They can then return to MyEnquiries and upload the completed form. As part of the process the employer will confirm that the employee had returned to employment and, for the month of February 2020, was on maternity, adoptive, paternity or parental leave, or directly related unpaid leave, or in receipt of Health and Safety benefit, Parent’s benefit or Illness benefit. Once uploaded an acknowledgement will be sent automatically to an employer’s ROS Inbox.
    • The downloadable form requires the following details for each employee concerned
      • PPSN
      • Name
      • Employment ID
      • Pay Frequency
      • Normal contractual gross pay (excluding notional pay) (e.g. annual salary, weekly / month wage, daily / hourly rate)
      • If hourly rate, provide normal contracted hours per week or normal expected hours per week.
      • Normal PRSI Class
      • Type of leave or benefit paid by DEASP
      • Date of return to employment from Maternity, Adoptive, Paternity or Parental leave, or directly related unpaid leave, or having received Health and Safety benefit, Parent’s benefit or Illness benefit.
  • Revenue will then check the details provided and once confirmed will determine a “Calculated Revenue Net Weekly Pay” (CRNWP) for each employee concerned. This will be used in the same manner as the ARNWP to calculate the relevant employee’s Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy (MWWS) along with other necessary information needed to operate TWSS.
  • This information will be included in a refreshed Revenue TWSS CSV file
    • Employers will be informed through a notification message in MyEnquiries that a revised ‘Employer CSV file’ is available for download.
  • This refreshed CSV file can they be imported into Payroll and TWSS can be then used for the employee(s) returning from leave. 

Fortnightly or Monthly paid employees

In line with Revenue guidance, we would recommend changing the pay frequency of employees to weekly where possible. This will mean an easier transition into and out of the Wage Subsidy Scheme. It will also make the payments to employees more regular and may suit employer cash flow better. The main consideration in switching the pay frequency is that the correct pay period is used for the first weekly payment. Simply check the employees tax card for the last ‘Week’ that a payment was made for before starting to make weekly payments starting in the next week.

Other Available Supports:

Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment:

This payment is available to employees and self-employed people who are unemployed or who have their hours of work reduced during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Short Time Work Support:

Short-time Work Support is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment if you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week.

Jobseeker’s Benefit:

Jobseeker’s Benefit is a payment for people between 18 and 66 who become fully or partly unemployed and have paid enough pay-related social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Jobseeker’s Allowance:

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a means-tested scheme. Whether you qualify depends on your income and whether you are habitually resident in Ireland (in other words, you live here and have close links to Ireland).