Yesterday, 24th March 2020, the Irish Government announced that the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Support payment for people who have been laid-off or lost their job due to the virus is to increase from €203 to €350. This payment will also apply to the self-employed affected by Covid-19. It does not apply to employees temporarily placed on a shorter working week. In this case, employees should apply for “Short Time Work Support”.
The illness benefit available for people diagnosed with Covid-19 or those medically advised to self-isolate has also increased from €305 to €350.
An emergency wage subsidy scheme has also been approved. The Government will pay 70% of a worker’s salary up to a cap of €410 per week net (equivalent to the after tax income of a worker on around €38,000). The scheme will provide support on incomes up to €76,000 or twice average earnings. It will be capped at net €350 for incomes between €38,000 and €76,000.
The scheme is targeted at companies impacted as a result of the economic downturn due to Covid-19 – and employers seeking to avail of it would have to demonstrate a reduction in income of at least 25%, along with cash flow difficulties.
Revenue and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are expected to provide details on how employers can apply.
This scheme is to replace the Employer Covid-19 Refund Scheme. Any employer that has already received refunds under the current scheme does not need to reapply and they will be contacted to confirm if they are eligible for the new scheme.