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Government u-turns on exclusion of proprietary directors from wage subsidy scheme

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme initially excluded people who were proprietary directors of a company.

Image: Julien Behal Photography/

FINANCE MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has u-turned on the decision not to allow company proprietary directors to qualify for the wage subsidy scheme. 

Donohoe today announced that he has asked the Revenue Commissioners to re-instate proprietary directors to the revised scheme, “where they meet the objective of the scheme of retaining ‘ordinary’ employees on payroll”. 

Business owners had raised major concerns at the government’s decision to exclude proprietary directors from the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

Last week, the government announced that the scheme would be extended until next spring. However, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme excluded people who were proprietary directors of a company.  

“Over the past 48 hours I have listened to the concerns of certain Proprietary Directors in relation to provisions of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme,” Donohoe said.

“Guidance will issue from the Revenue Commissioners in good time for the commencement of the scheme on 1 September,” he said.

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Earlier today, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath told reporters that the issue was being discussed and that the government was “keen to find a way of resolving it”.

Over 390,000 employees are covered by the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, according to government figures. The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is estimated to cost €2.3 billion between September and March 2021. 

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