Following a meeting of the special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 on March 9th, the Government has decided on the next phase of Ireland’s response to the global and national public health emergency arising from Covid-19.
- The main objective in the current phase is to limit and slow down the spread of the virus, to keep the number of affected people to a minimum and reduce peak pressure on the health service;
- A package of reforms was agreed for sick pay, illness benefit and supplementary benefit that is designed to ensure that employees and the self-employed can abide by medical advice to self-isolate where appropriate, while having their income protected to a far greater degree than under the current social welfare system. This is estimated to cost up to €2.4 billion;
- An initial package for business including €200 million in liquidity funding;
For business, the main elements are:
- 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.
Economic Stimulus and Additional Actions for Business
- The Health and Social Welfare estimated at €3 billion.
- The provision of a €200 million liquidity support fund for impacted firms.
- Government Ministers will also meet the banks and other important economic actors to ensure there is a joined-up national effort to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the virus.
If you have concerns on how this situation could affect your business, please contact us and we assist you.