Announcements were made quite recently by the Government in relation to some changes to employment income support necessitated by the onset of Covid-19 and its subsequent economic impact.
On 26 March 2020, shortly after the commencement of lockdown and the consequent loss of employment even on a temporary basis for many people, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme was introduced, initially for a period of twelve weeks. This scheme has now been extended until, at present, the end of August 2020 and the position will continue to be monitored in the interim. It may well require to be extended or phased out gradually depending on the economic recovery of the country as we progress through the phases set by the Government.
The Government also sought to deal with an anomaly which appeared to have existed in respect of employees who had been on maternity or adoptive leave in February 2020 and therefore unable to access the support scheme. This has now been corrected and back payment is available in this regard.
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has also now been extended until 10 August 2020. However from 29 June 2020 the payment will be made at two levels, depending on prior earnings. This arose as a consequence of some employees in fact benefitting more from this payment than from their position of employment. For those who previously earned €200 per week or higher, the rate will remain at €350 per week. If however prior earnings were up to €199.99 per week, then the new amount will be €203 per week, which is in line with the Jobseeker’s Benefit Scheme.
Professional advice should always be taken before acting on any of the matters discussed. Please contact a member of our team should you wish to discuss this topic further.