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Lay-Offs/Short-time due to COVID-19

Article Updated - 15 September 2020

Section 29 of Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 (“the Emergency Measures Act”) has temporarily reduced the scope of the operation of the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 (“the Redundancy Payments Act”) by the addition of Section 12A to the Redundancy Payments Act as follows

‘Section 12A. (1) Section 12 shall not have effect during the emergency period in respect 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.’

Section 12A has temporarily suspended the provisions of Section 12 of the Redundancy Payments Act for the duration of the emergency period only in respect to 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 consequence of, government policy to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of infection of Covid-19. Such an employee shall not be entitled to give notice of his intention to claim redundancy during the emergency period.

The emergency period is defined in section 29(5) of the Emergency Measures Act as “the period beginning on 13 March 2020 and ending on 31 May 2020”. The legislation allows for the period to be extended.

The period was extended on three previous occasions and on 15 September 2020, the Government decided to extend the suspension of redundancy provisions relating to temporary lay-off and short-time work which arose as a result of Covid-19 until November 30th.

During this period the Government has announced emergency measures and supports for employees and business, including:

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
  • A National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme, providing financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis.

Click on the following link for the most up to date information on Government Covid-19 measures and supports, including financial supports:

https://www.gov.ie/en/