What consequences does COVID-19 have on your employees in the Ireland? How to use the aids provided and what to do in case you need to take drastic measures as time passes? Every country is dealing differently with the Coronavirus. We monitor the situation and have put all information together per country. If you employ people in Ireland, you can find frequently asked questions below.
Measures announced by the government
Pubs are now officially closed until at least 29 March as part of containment measures. The government issued a lengthy statement and said a social distancing strategy would need to take place over months, rather than weeks. The education minister has said schools will remain open for now, but would have to close at some point in the future.
Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme
The department has announced a refund scheme for employers. Under an arrangement developed with Revenue, employers who have to temporarily lay-off staff and who are not in a position to make any wage payment to them, are asked to keep their employees on the payroll and pay them an amount of €203 - the equivalent of the COVID-19 Support Payment.
When they submit payroll returns to Revenue via their payroll provider, Revenue will refund the employer the €203.
FAQ Irish employment during Coronavirus
- What if an employee contracts COVID-19?
The employee’s sick pay entitlements, if any, will be those set out in the contract of employment and/or staff handbook. There is no legal or statutory entitlement, however, to sick pay. The employee may be entitled to illness benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
- What if the employer closes down but the employee can work from home?
The employee is entitled to be paid, assuming they are working.
- What if the employer closes down but the employee can’t work from home?
There is no entitlement to be paid and a temporary layoff situation may arise. An alternative is for the employee to take any accrued annual leave, in which case they would be paid.
- What if the employee can’t come to work because they are caring for a person who has COVID- 19?
Force majeure leave may be applicable in this situation. However, the maximum amount of force majeure leave is 3 days in a 12-month period and the care must be for a close family member with the employee’s presence indispensable in the circumstance.
- Public transport closes down and the employee cannot get to work?
Unless there is provision in the staff handbook for pay it is extremely unlikely that the employee is entitled to be paid.
In addition to these questions, you might have questions specific to your case and company. If you are looking for answers, we are happy to help. Schedule a 15-minute call with Monique Ramondt, VP of HR Outsourcing via the image below:
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