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New redundancy scheme opens for those affected by the COVID-19 restrictions

New redundancy scheme opens for those affected by the COVID-19 restrictions

Posted: Tue 19th Apr 2022

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD has today announced the commencement of redundancy rights, for those affected by the pandemic, under the new Redundancy Payments (Amendment) Act 2022.

The Act provides for the Covid-related Lay-off Payment. The Covid-19 Related Lay-off payment is paid by the State to cover periods of lay-off between 13 March 2020 and 31 January 2022 caused by essential Covid-19 related restrictions.

Helping business owners

“This new law will mean that those that were made redundant to protect public health during the pandemic will not be out of pocket for the period they were laid off. The Government is providing a special payment of up to €2,268 tax-free to bridge the gap in their redundancy entitlements,” said The Tánaiste.

“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,” he said.

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, welcomed the announcement.

“The new system is employer-led. 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,” said Minister Humphreys.

Qualifying for the scheme

To qualify for this scheme, you must be entitled to a redundancy payment under existing rules.

 Employees must have 104 weeks' continuous employment, their employment is fully insurable under the Social Welfare Act, their job no longer exists, and they are over the age of 16.

They must also be entitled to a redundancy payment between 13 March 2020 and 31 January 2025 and have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 restrictions during some or all of the period between 13 March 2020 and 31 January 2022.

Rebounding

“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,” said Damien English TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail.

“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 scheme is now open for applications and will operate alongside the existing Redundancy & Insolvency schemes currently administered by the Department of Social Protection. Further information on the payment is available here.

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