12 Mar 2020

Short term work support available to those affected by COV-19 restrictions

Latest information from the department on COVID-19.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

3 major changes have been announced:

  • the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation
  • the personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks medically-required self-isolation or for the full duration of absence from work following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • the normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be changed or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed

You can access public health advice about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the government's information page.

See our quick guide If you are an employee or self-employed and feel you may have COVID-19, or may need to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19

Government has now urged all employers to support national public health objectives by continuing, as a minimum, to pay employees who cannot attend work due to Covid-19 illness or self-isolation the difference between the enhanced Illness Benefit rate and their normal wages.

This may be achieved through the employer considering a range of flexible working arrangements with their employees such as:

  • compassionate leave
  • allowing the employee to work remotely
  • allowing the staff member to ‘work-up’ any time taken at a future date
  • allowing the employee to avail of annual leave entitlements
  • rearranging parental leave

A number of income supports are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for people whose employers do not continue to pay them during a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related absence or temporary lay-off from work.

In considering how to respond to questions arising as a consequence of Covid-19 employers and employees are directed in the first instance to the public health advice issued by the HSE, available on their website www.HSE.ie. It is essential that all individuals and employers abide by this advice.

Who the enhanced arrangements are intended to support (COVID-19).

Availability of the enhanced payment (COVID-19).

Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19.

Workers who are not diagnosed with COVID-19 but who self-isolate.

Workers whose employers do not supplement/top-up the State Illness Benefit payment (COVID-19).

Workers who are requested to stay at home by their employer (COVID-19).

Workers who are laid off temporarily or put on to short time working (COVID-19).

Workers who need to take time off work to care for a person affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

People already in receipt of Social Welfare Payments (COVID-19).

How to apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences

Further information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The department is committed to providing information and updates as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves. We recommend that you check this page and our Twitter page for regular updates.

Employment rights information is available from the Workplace Relations Commission.

Source: gov.ie

Related Reading:

Package of supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Covid-19 Sick Pay & Support for Small Business Owners

Coronavirus vaccine: Volunteers offered £3,500 to be infected with the bug

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