Coronavirus Employment Update 12/6/2020Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 12 June 2020
Wage Subsidy Scheme - Maternity and Adoption Leave
Revenue have confirmed that changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) are now in place to accommodate employees who have returned or are due to return to work following a period of maternity leave, adoptive leave or related unpaid leave. These changes also apply to employees who were not on their employer’s payroll on 29 February 2020 and who were:
on a period of paternity, parental or related unpaid leave
in receipt of Health and Safety Benefit, Parent’s Benefit or Illness Benefit paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).
Economic Considerations for Reinstating Economic Activity
These papers, developed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in conjunction with the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, provides an updated assessment of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies from an economic perspective some priority issues for re-opening of economic activity especially under Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. It also draws on sectoral inputs provided by other Government Departments.
GDP is projected to decline by over 10% in 2020. Some 220,000 jobs will be lost with the unemployment rate exceeding 25% in the second quarter of the year before falling in the latter half of the year. Other, more recent, economic analyses forecast a similar contraction in Irish GDP and estimate a contraction in consumer spending of between 12.5% and 13.3% in 2020. The ESRI1, under its baseline scenario, estimates that Irish exports of goods and services are set to fall by 8.2% this year. The heightened risk of a hard Brexit at the end of 2020 could exacerbate the difficulties facing the economy and recovery prospects. More here:
NSAI Publishes Guide for the Opening of Shopping Centres
It's the news many of us have been waiting for: new guidelines have been published by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) to enable shopping centres to reopen safely following closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Shopping Centre Recovery and Protection Guide addresses risks to workers and the public and will help business owners implement the mandatory Return to Work Safely Protocol that applies to all workplaces across the economy.
The document can also be used to help, maintain and improve a shopping centres ability to protect against, prepare for, respond to and recover from COVID-19 related disruptions.
And the guide itself is here:
Section 6 covers competence and training requirements, return to work and induction. Section 5 covers operational structures and HR issues.
Coming Out Of Lockdown - An Employer’s Roadmap
This comprehensive newsletter from Leman Solicitors outlines a range of business re-opening considerations for employers including health and safety, cost containment measures including property costs, restructuring and redundancy and communication with the employees.
Employee Wellbeing: 7 Ways You Can Support The Wellbeing Of Remote And Office Workers
These certainly are unfamiliar times. There are many different factors which may be influencing the wellbeing of your team members, so it’s important that you monitor them and regularly check in to make sure they are coping well. Supporting the wellbeing of employees is an important aspect of management in any organisation. This article from Morgan McKinley provides some practical guidance on how you can support wellbeing of employees.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme Expanded
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton TD have announced a major expansion of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme to help small and micro enterprises to get online quickly. The Scheme is being expanded by €14.2m after the Local Enterprise Offices received 3 years’ worth of applications in 3 months following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ireland. Following a previous expansion of the Scheme in early April, total additional funding for the Scheme is now almost €20m in 2020.
Under the Scheme, small businesses can claim up to €5,000 in two vouchers worth €2,500 each. The Scheme also facilitates subscriptions to low-cost online retailing platform solutions to quickly establish a retailing presence online. More here:
Hair Salon Reopening Guidelines
It's the other news we have all been waiting for - the Irish Hairdressers Federation has published guidelines which it says should allow hair salons to reopen safely in the Government's Phase 3 easing of Covid-19 restrictions instead of Phase 4. The Federation said the 100 specific measures were developed after engagement with the HSE and the Health & Safety Authority and with the assistance of noted Irish health and safety experts. About 25,000 people are employed in the hairdressing sector. Among the main recommendations in the guidelines are the extensive use of PPE for stylists and customers as well as Covid-19 training for all staff. More on this great news from RTE:
Senior Executives and Professionals in COVID-19
Senior executives and professionals are not immune to the difficulties facing employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is apparent that many are being asked to take significant pay-cuts while at the same time manage the business and generate revenue often with reduced resources and less support. Emotionally and physically this is taking its toll and it makes sense to seek professional advice when facing decisions, which may have long-term implications for your career and financial wellbeing. This article from CC Solicitors, discusses some of the issues experienced by senior executives and professionals during the pandemic.
A podcast on the subject from CC Solicitors is available here:
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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.