Coronavirus Employment Update 10/7/2020

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 10 July 2020
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: Coronavirus

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme To be Extended
Employers could be in line for financial incentives to take on staff or re-hire workers who lost their jobs as a result of the Covid crisis, under plans to be considered by the Government next week.  Proposed changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) - which currently pays 85% of salaries of some 400,000 workers - would mean newly hired workers could benefit from the payment. The changes would also mean the inclusion of seasonal workers or those who were not on payrolls when the scheme was introduced at the end of February and have so far not been entitled to avail of it. 

Cost Of Covid Wage Subsidy Scheme Rises To Almost €2 Billion
Around 405,000 employees are currently having their pay supported by the Government through the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, according to the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners.  The total cost of the scheme has risen to €1.970 billion - just short of €2 billion - including €150 million in income tax refunds.

Over 698,000 employees have received at least one subsidy payment since the scheme was launched on 26 March, with 285,900 receiving a subsidy within the last week.  That weekly figure can fluctuate depending on whether TWSS recipients are paid on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.  More than 66,500 employers have registered with the Revenue for the TWSS, and of those, over 61,300 have already received subsidy payment.  More from RTE:

Extension of Maternity Leave and Pay
The Taoiseach has said the Government will do the right thing on calls to extend maternity leave and pay for mothers whose babies were born during the lockdown.  However, Micheál Martin told the Dáil that the issue was not as simple as outlined.  He said the matter was being considered by the departments of Justice, Social Protection and Public Expenditure.  Mr Martin was responding to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who called for an extension to maternity leave and pay by 12 weeks for mothers of babies born during the restrictions.

She said the Programme for Government committed to an extension of parental leave, although she said the language was vague, but that had raised expectations that the Government would act.  More from RTE: 

This matter was debated in the Dáil on the 7th July and you can read the debate here: 

Covid-19 Tracker App
A new Covid-19 tracker app has been downloaded by more than 862,000 people since it went live earlier this week.  The Department of Health and the Health Service Executive launched the app to help identify close contacts of people who test positive for the disease. 

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: "This is one more example of the solidarity and collective spirit that has characterised the Irish public's response to Covid-19 to date. 

"The app is an important tool to support our contact tracing systems. It has the potential to reduce the time that people are active in the community with infection, which will have a significant impact on the transmission of the disease.

More from RTE: 

You can download the Tracker App here: 

Covid-19 And The Important Role Of The Lead Worker Representative In The Workplace
This detailed article from ICTU considers the importance of the Lead Worker Representative role in the context of the return to work safety protocol. 

Listen again to our recent webinar with Bláthnaid Evans from Leman Solicitors as she answers your questions about the Lead Worker Representative role here: 


This article is correct at 10/07/2020

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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