Yesterday the Taoiseach announced stringent new measures to try to combat the spread of Covid-19. These measures have placed severe restrictions on travel and have closed all places of employment not deemed essential, with immediate effect for a period of 2 weeks.
Today the Minister for Health, Simon Harris has published a list of those services deemed essential to combating the pandemic. The list is available at:
It is recommended that all members affected should contact their employer to ascertain the following:
- Is their business deemed an essential service?
- If not, which of the following actions is the employer taking:
A. Is the employer closing for the 2 weeks and placing you on temporary lay off? In which case you will be entitled to the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment payment of €350 per week (details below)
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place for the duration of the crisis.
How to qualify
You can apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you:
- are aged between 18 and 66 years old and
- live in the Republic of Ireland and
- have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- if you are self-employed and have ceased trading due to the pandemic
If you are an employee and have:
- lost your job
- been temporarily laid off
- asked to stay at home
- not getting any money from an employer
To claim this payment please go to www.mywelfare.ie
B. The employer also has the option of keeping you on their books and paying you through the “Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme”. Please see details below
What the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme is
The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy is a scheme which allows employers to pay their employees during the current pandemic. Employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of an employee’s wages – up to a level of €410.
The employer is expected to make their best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period.
This payment replaces the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Employer Refund Scheme announced on 15th March and any business that received refunds under the current scheme do not need to reapply.
Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme.
How an employer can qualify
If you are an employer who can show that you have lost at least 25 percent of your trade – you will be able to claim 70 percent of your employees’ net wage back (up to a maximum of €410). The government encourages you to top-up your employees’ wages to maintain them at their current level of earnings.
If you are self-employed you should apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Rate of payment
Employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of the amount they pay each employee up to a maximum level of €410. Wherever possible, employers are asked to top their employees’ wages.
This is the preferred option and you should request your employer avails of this option as your employment will continue and facilitate an easier return to work once these measures are lifted.
Should you have any difficulties with your employer please contact your nearest Connect Trade Union Regional Office. Click here for contact details.