Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure IE-2020-11/820 – Updated – measures in Ireland
|Country||Ireland , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 13 March 2020 – 30 September 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Rescue procedures in case of insolvency or adaptation of insolvency regulation
|Author||Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||06 May 2020 (updated 25 May 2022)|
In order to provide a temporary relief to the employers facing the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, the Parliament passed a bill suspending the employee's right to ask for a redundancy payment to their employer.
The former legal framework, indeed, allowed employees temporarily laid off, or temporarily put on short-time, for a long time, to consider themselves as dismissed, asking the employer to provide them the associated redundancy payment.
This measure has been introduced through 'The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Act 2020', which amended the Redundancy Payments Act 1967.
The measure modified the law about the employees' right to claim redundancy payment from the employer, if temporarily laid off or temporarily put on short-time, solely with reference to the COVID-19 emergency period.
Normally, if a worker is laid off or put on short-time hours, he/she can claim the redundancy payment from his/her employer after 4 weeks or more, or 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks. According to this measure, the worker will not be able to claim redundancy payments during the emergency period, if laid off or put on short-time work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency period set out in legislation is 13 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. This period may be extended. After it ends, the legal framework will go back to the former configuration.
No information yet available.
Employees in standard employment
||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement||No involvement|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No information about the involvement of trade unions or employer organisations in the drafting or implementation of this measure has been detected.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has raised concerns that prolonged time spent on lay off will not be counted towards service for redundancy payment calculation.
RTE News reported that a letter from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment noted that at present, the legislation does not provide for the inclusion of periods of layoff from work as "reckonable for service purposes... In the specific instance of COVID-19 where lay-offs have been imposed on workers with no recourse to Section 12 of the Act whereby they can claim redundancy payments it is clear that a double jeopardy has been created ... I would request that in such circumstances no worker should be penalised in relation to their reckonable service which have arisen in circumstances beyond their control."
As of 21 September 2021: The Irish Congress of Trade Unions welcomed the proposal on reckonable service. ICTU general secretary, Patricia King said: “Congress has consistently advocated to Government that workers, temporarily laid off as a result of the public health restrictions, should not be further financially penalised and that the period spent on PUP should be included in the calculation of any redundancy lump sum payment. Government’s announcement today confirms they have heard and agree with us.
“Without these special provisions, tens of thousands of workers, having been laid off due to the pandemic and their redundancy rights being suspended, would lose out on almost 19-months of redundancy pay, where such payments arise.
Eurofound (2020), Suspension of the obligation of employers to pay redundancy payments, measure IE-2020-11/820 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/IE-2020-11_820.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.