The Workplace Relations Commission has published a guidance notice for employer and employees on how to manage the potential employment issues arising from Covid-19.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation have published a Business Continuity Planning checklist which provides some detail as to actions businesses can take to plan for potential impacts of Covid-19.
UPDATE ON COVID-19
The government has announced an income support plan for the Covid-19 virus which includes:
- waiving the requirement for six waiting days for sick pay in respect of medically certified cases of self-isolation in accordance with public health guidelines
- the removal of the means test requirement for Supplementary Welfare Allowance in respect of medically certified cases of self-isolation
- to contain the transmission of Covid-19, the personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum period of two weeks of medically certified self-isolation, or for the duration of a person’s medically-certified absence from work due to Covid-19 diagnoses
- self-employed people will be entitled to receive either illness benefit or non-means tested supplementary welfare allowance
We are awaiting further details as to how this will be implemented.
In addition to these measures the government has announced:
- existing systemic short-time working scheme is available for employees placed on reduced working arrangements
- a group will be established to monitor labour market developments and lead a joint national communication effort focused on employers and employees
- €200 million liquidity support fund will be put in place for impacted firms, further details to be released
We are advising members to review their policies and procedures to ensure that they allow for employers to respond effectively and efficiently to the virus and to ensure they are aware of the up to date public health information relating to the virus. Employers should have a clear communications strategy in place to share relevant updates and ensure employees know who to contact should they be impacted by the virus. Additionally, employers should consider their business continuity planning and take steps to minimise disruption to the business arising from the virus. More details on steps to be taken can be found in our communication to members on 04/03/2020. We will be updating our website periodically as new information becomes available.