Social welfare options for workers and employers during coronavirus emergency
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Three major changes have been announced. They are:
- 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 .
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.
Employers and employees impacted can also access advice and information HERE.
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. Again, check the link above for more information.
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.