Covid-19 Checklist for Employers
Covid-19 – Checklist for Employers
In these very uncertain times we are aware your businesses are facing very tough decisions right now and we are entering into very challenging times ahead. We are here to help you through those decisions and to support in every way we can. In the meantime we have prepared this Covid-19 Checklist for Employers where you will find up to date information on Government supports, staffing issues and some advice that we feel will be helpful in your decision making process.
HR & Staffing
Many businesses are reviewing their workforce to ensure efficiencies for survival and below we have outlined options you will have and some tips to protect your decision.
Alternative Forms of Rationalisation
Lay Off Notification
Short Time Notification
At Risk Redundancy Notification
CheckthatyourEmployeeHandbookorContractsincludereferenceto the possibility of Lay-off and/or Redundancy if the business environment requires same. If this does not exist you will need the agreement of the employee.
Planandexecuterobustcommunicationplansandprocessesthat ensure staff are fully informed at the outset and right through any rationalisation process.
Other Options to Consider
Straight Lay-off for a 4/6 week period with the hope of re- employment/retention at the end of 4/6 weeks, also letting staff know that it may develop into full redundancy at the organisation’s discretion at any time or at the employee’s discretion after 4/6 weeks.
Immediate redundancy for some or all staff, with as lengthy a consultation period as possible.
Short-time working with some or all staff being reduced to a three-day working week so that they can claim Social Welfare payment for the other two days.
Salary reductions for some or all staff with signed agreement.
When rationalising, fair process and selection should still exist and best advice right now is to consider ‘skills needed for the ongoing functioning of the business’ as the basis for selection for either Lay-off or Redundancy, rather than any variation of LIFO.
Financial Supports for Businesses
A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website.
A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to 9 employees) - are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local LEO.
The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years.
Supports for firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks:
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will provide a joint First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored supports for impacted firms, with objective of avoiding mass lay-offs and buying time for firms to work
through the short-term disruptions
Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short Term Work Support by contacting their local Intreo Office,
The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports will be available to firms to help with strategies to innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness
Government Supports for Employee Payments
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been introduced for anyone whose employer is unable to continue to pay them. The payment is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to the pandemic. You will get a payment of €203 per week for up to 6 weeks (as applicable)
Short Time Work Support
Short-time Work Support is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment if you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week
Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences
When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €305 per week