Coronavirus: Workers affected by economic realities

Coronavirus: Workers affected by economic realities

By Maurice Garvey

UP TO 140,000 employees woke up this morning laid off from their jobs - a combination of 70,000 restaurant staff, 50,000 pub and bar staff, and around 20,000 creche and childcare workers.

However, many more workers are affected by the economic realities facing society over the coming weeks and months.

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Authorities estimate approximately 7,000 family businesses have had to close, facing zero turnover.

A significant number of non-essential retailers are preparing to close their shops amid the Covid-19 restrictions.

Essential stores are considered to be supermarkets and chemists with tighter restrictions on footfall in a premises.

Thousands of workers are either working remotely and/or have had their working days cut significantly.

A new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment payment will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the coronavirus.

Where possible, employers are being asked to pay workers at least the equivalent jobseekers’ rate of €203 per week during a six-week period.

The Department has said employers can claim a refund for the €203 a week payments to workers.

A simplified version of the jobseekers’ form is available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website.

This can be downloaded, filled out and returned by post.

Workers who are laid off without pay do not need to visit an Intreo Centre, due to social distancing recommendations.

The payment is for a period of six weeks at a flat rate payment of €203 per week for jobseekers.

Once that is received, the Department will process the claims and reconcile payments.

Refunds are expected to take some time to process, but banks will provide working capital finance in the form of overdrafts, or short-term loans to cover costs.

For further information on the new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment payment click the link HERE

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