Coronavirus Employment Update 27/03/2020Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 27 March 2020 Issues covered:
We have a number of employment news articles related to the Coronavirus this week including:
Wage Subsidy Scheme to Retain Workers
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D., has strongly encouraged employers to avail of the Government’s new and generous Wage Subsidy Scheme to retain employees and to re-employ employees in cases where they have recently been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minster said: “This pandemic is presenting our people and businesses with unprecedented challenges and they require practical, flexible and innovative solutions. That’s why we have introduced this new Wage Subsidy Scheme, which supports employers to retain as many workers as possible by giving support to wage costs. It’s important to bear in mind that if you have recently laid off workers, you can still avail of the Scheme by re-employing them, which will allow you to plan ahead with more surety.”
The Scheme will be available to employers who keep employees on the payroll through the current Covid-related trading difficulties, meaning employers can retain links with employees for when business picks up after the crisis. Under the terms of the Scheme employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of an employee's wages - up to a level of €410. More:
Full details of scheme from the Revenue:
Govt announces National Covid-19 Income Support Scheme:
RDJ Summary of Scheme:
ICTU Welcomes Developments
Don't Use Scheme
On the other hand, employment law solicitor Richard Grogan argues that Irish employers should not take advantage of the new temporary wage subsidy scheme introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic because it "...creates the issue of fraudulent trading..." and, in certain circumstances, "...the entire sum paid by the State to the employer will be refundable plus interest and penalties." His views and explanation are set out in Irishlegal.com:
New Business Continuity Voucher goes live through Local Enterprise Offices
The new Business Continuity Voucher is now available through Local Enterprise Offices and is open to sole traders and companies across every business sector that employ up to 50 people, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced.
The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and actions should be taken to protect staff and sales. More:
Economy to Shrink by 7%
The economy could contract by over 7% this year and unemployment could soar to 18% as a result of measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Economic and Social Research Institute has warned. More from RTÉ:
Right of Travellers to Terminate Package Travel Contracts
This item will interest any readers who have holidays booked. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has issued guidance on the right of travellers to terminate package travel contacts due to the extraordinary circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
A ‘package’ means a combination of travel and tourist services for the purpose of the same trip or holiday that lasts for at least 24 hours or, if less than 24 hours, includes an overnight stay. It is generally purchased from a single point of sale and sold at an inclusive price or advertised as a package. It must include at least two of the following: transport, accommodation, car rental, or a tourist service or activity such as golf or hillwalking that accounts for a significant proportion of the value of the package.
Covid-19 Guidance for Employers Webinars with Caroline McEnery (HR Suite)
Part 1: https://www.legal-island.ie/articles/ire/resources/webinars/2020/mar/guidance-for-employers-with-regards-to-covid-19/
Part 2: https://www.legal-island.ie/articles/ire/resources/webinars/2020/mar/part-2-guidance-for-employers-with-regards-to-covid-19/
Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020
Bill providing new powers for government controls has passed through Dáil Éireann:
New Restrictions on Movement
For general advice, the RTÉ coronavirus section is good
Covid-19 Mitigation Measures
Updated Advice for Employers in Ireland from Karen Killalea, Maples Group:
COVID-19 in the Workplace
Comprehensive Update from CC Solicitors
Covid 19 and Subject Access Requests
Do the timelines for responding to GDPR data subject requests still apply where an organisation is temporarily closed or capacity to handle requests is curtailed because of COVID-19? The Data Protection Commission acknowledges the significant impact of the Covid-19 health crisis which may affect organisations’ ability to action GDPR requests from individuals, such as access requests. While the timelines for responding to requests from individuals are set down in law in the GDPR and can’t be changed, we recognise that unavoidable delays may arise as a direct result of the impacts of COVID-19. More here:
WRC Suspends Hearings
Court judgments to be handed down via email
Thirteen Tips To Make Self-Isolating Easier
For How Long Does Coronavirus Live on Inanimate Surfaces and Why You Shouldn’t mix Bleach with Other Cleaning Products
Latest on Coronavirus/Covid-19
- Barbara Nalepa v Winifred Rochford ta The Health Store 
- What is the Current Law in Relation to Mandatory Retirement Ages?
- Lay-Offs – What Do They Mean With Respect To Notice Payments?
- Stefan Jennings v Cidos Trading Ltd Banba Toymaster 
- Warren Sweeney v MSL Engineering 
- Withdrawal of Employment Due to Disability Deemed Discrimination
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.