Irish government considers paying 75% of worker wages following UK's 80% plan

  • The Irish government is considering following the UK's lead on payroll protection for laid off workers, potentially covering up to 75% of wages.

    Last week the UK Government announced a huge package of support for businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including a promise to pay 80% of the wages of workers laid off as a result of closures. The policy has already been used in several other countries to mitigate the economic damage of the virus and keep people employed.

    Ireland is now considering following suit and subsidising up to 75% of the costs for staff temporarily laid off during the outbreak. It's already put in place a COVID-19 scheme offering employers €203 per week for each employee temporarily laid off because of the outbreak, but the scheme has been criticised for not doing enough.

    Most employment contracts in the UK and Ireland permit the employer to temporarily lay off the employee during exeptional circumstances such as temporary work stoppages, and closing stores due to a viral outbreak qualifies. Some businesses have also had to let people go permanently or are facing closing down for good due to the disruption caused by the virus.

    Over 140,000 people in Ireland are estimated to have lost their jobs last week, but new proposals submitted to the Irish government called for 75% of their wages to be covered in order to protect their jobs. If accepted, this would match the UK's promise of 80%. 

    Source: Irish Times

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