28 Sept 2022

Workers laid off due to govt pandemic sanctions to receive special payment - Varadkar

Workers laid off due to govt pandemic sanctions to receive special payment - Varadkar

Workers laid off due to govt pandemic sanctions to receive special payment - Varadkar

People laid off during the pandemic to protect public health will receive a special payment from the government to bridge the gap in their redundancy entitlements. 

That's according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who today (Tuesday April 19) announced the commencement of the Redundancy Payments (Amendment) Act 2022, which provides a payment of up to €2,268 tax-free to applicable people. 

Speaking about the Redundancy Payments (Amendment) Act 2022, Varadkar said, "We want to make sure workers don’t lose out on payments and on the other hand, business owners aren’t faced with a flood of additional redundancy costs, just when they’re trying to get back on their feet. This Act provides the best outcome for both employers and employees.

"Redundancy rights for people who were placed on lay-off during the pandemic is one of the five new worker rights I committed to introducing this year. The commencement of this Act fulfils this promise.”

The scheme - which will run alongside existing Redundancy and Insolvency schemes from the Department of Social Protection - is now open for applications. 

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, called the new system "employer-led". 

She said, "This means that, for the majority of eligible employees, their employer, liquidator or relevant officer will apply for this payment on their behalf. Applications can be made online via the Welfare Partners website." 

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, said, "Many sectors are rebounding since the lifting of Covid restrictions which is a real tribute to the resilience of Irish businesses and their workers. While we have good reason to be optimistic, a uniform and smooth recovery is not guaranteed and, regrettably, some redundancies will arise. 

“This new payment will be made by the State and is in addition to normal statutory redundancy. The payment ensures employees who were placed on temporary lay-off over the last two years due to essential Covid-related restrictions and who are made redundant are not disadvantaged." 

The payment covers all lay-offs caused by State restrictions to protect public health from March 13 2020 to January 31 2022.  

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