COVID-19: Employer Alert – Proprietary Directors Get Clarification Under The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

Revenue has provided welcome confirmation on the application of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (“EWSS”) to proprietary directors.


The scheme came into operation on the 1st of September 2020 and is due to operate until the 31st of March 2021.

Proprietary directors are explicitly excluded from the EWSS under the legislation underpinning the scheme. However, it was subsequently announced by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD on 31 July 2020 that the EWSS could be claimed in respect of certain proprietary directors. A decision was awaited from the Department of Finance on the conditions that would attach to proprietary directors in order for them to qualify for the scheme.

In a press release published today, Revenue has confirmed that that the EWSS can be claimed in respect of proprietary directors, subject to the following conditions:

  1. the employer meets the eligibility criteria for the EWSS,
  2. the proprietary director is on the payroll of the eligible employer, and
  3. the proprietary director has been paid wages which were reported to Revenue on the payroll of the eligible employer at any stage between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.

Where a person is a proprietary director of two or more eligible companies, a claim for EWSS can only be submitted in respect of a single company. The proprietary director will be required to elect one company for the purposes of making EWSS claims for the duration of the scheme. Once an election is made it cannot be changed during the term of the scheme.

A detailed briefing on the EWSS is available here.