Amendments to the Redundancy Payments Act and Wage Subsidy Scheme Clarification

Amendment to the Redundancy Payments Acts

The Government has published the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest COVID-19 Bill 2020, which is expected to be passed into law in the coming days. As discussed in our COVID-19 Practical Considerations: Updated Employment FAQ briefing, in certain circumstances, if employees are laid off or put on short-time, they may be entitled to notify their employer in writing of intention to claim a statutory redundancy payment.

In a move that will be welcomed by employers, the Bill proposes to amend the Redundancy Payments Acts to suspend, for the duration of this crisis, the entitlement of an employee, who has been laid off or kept on short-time due to the effects of measures required to be taken by his or her employer in order to comply with, or as a consequence of, Government policy to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of infection of Covid-19, to make this notification to his/her employer.

Wage Subsidy Scheme Clarification

Revenue has issued guidance, available here, on the Wage Subsidy Scheme which clarifies that, initially, and from today, 26 March 2020, the scheme will refund employers up to a maximum of €410 per each qualifying employee. However, employers should pay no more than the normal weekly net pay of the employee, up to a maximum of €410. The Revenue states that in April, the scheme will move to a subsidy payment based on 70% of the normal net weekly pay for each employee, up to a maximum of €410. Therefore, for the initial payment(s), certain employees may receive in excess of 70% of their normal weekly net pay. Further guidance from Revenue is expected on this.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.