On Friday April 10th, the government of Ireland announced an extension of current COVID-19 restrictions to Tuesday May 5th, 2020.
The Government has put in place a number of support measures under the auspices of the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection. These measures are designed to ease the burden on the many businesses and households that are impacted by the spread of coronavirus.
I will look at a number of scenarios that are pertinent to employers, employees, and the self-employed.
COVID-19 Information for Employers and Employees
Output in my business has dropped by at least 25% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. I want to keep my employees on the company payroll. What support mechanism is in place?
Employers who can prove they have lost at least 25% of their trade due to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to apply for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. Employers can apply for this scheme via Revenue.ie. Employers will be refunded up to 70% for each employee. The maximum refund is capped at €410 per employee per week.
My business is deemed to be a provider of critical services. I need to recruit qualified and experienced staff urgently to keep supply chains open. I normally recruit new employees via recruitment agencies. What arrangements are in place at present? If your company is deemed to be providing critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for recruitment support via the Jobs Ireland portal.
My business is located close to the border with Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, I have made all my staff unemployed for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of my employees live in Northern Ireland. The remainder live in the Republic of Ireland. What can my employees do?
Those employees who live in Northern Ireland should apply for Universal Credit. Those employees who live in the Republic of Ireland are entitled to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Payment via MyWelfare.ie
My employer has made me redundant for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. What am I entitled to claim for? You are entitled to claim for Pandemic Unemployment Payment. You can apply online via MyWelfare.ie
I am self-employed. My business has collapsed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. I am available for full time work if offered to me. Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to either Jobseekers Benefit for the Self-Employed or Jobseekers Allowance. You will need to apply for both Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseekers Benefit via your local Intreo office.
I am an employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a doctor. I am absent from work and confined to my home or a medical facility. You are entitled to claim for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences. This benefit is also available to self-employed people diagnosed with coronavirus. You will need medical certification from your doctor or the HSE to support your claim. You can apply online via MyWelfare.ie
I am an employee who has been told to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE, because I have been identified as a possible source of infection. I am absent from work and confined to my home or a medical facility. You are entitled to claim for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences. This benefit is also available to self-employed people who have been told to self-isolate. You will need to support your claim with medical certification from your doctor or the HSE. You can apply via MyWelfare.ie
My employer is based in Northern Ireland. I live in the Republic of Ireland. I have been made unemployed for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. What benefits am I entitled to claim for? You are entitled to claim for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment via MyWelfare.ie
If you are an employer or employee who has been impacted by COVID-19 and you need more clarity on the issues raised above, I will be happy to give you some advice based on my own experience. These are uncertain times and the least we could do is support one another. My contact details are on this page. Any information you share will remain strictly confidential.