Covid-19: Irish Govt to pay 70pc of retained workers’ wages

The Irish Government will pay up to 70pc of salaries of retained workers whose employer is struggling as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, it has emerged.

The level will be set at 70pc of the average wage of €38,000 or €410 per week for businesses who are willing to meet the remainder of their staff’s weekly payment.

Employers that are looking to participate in the income support scheme will have to prove a decrease in income of 25pc and that they have liquidity difficulties.

The Irish Government’s Covid-19 support payment for people who have lost their job will increase from €203 to €350.

The self-employed will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme).

The full cost of the support scheme is €3.7bn.

Movement restrictions

Today (24 March) the Irish Government confirmed that schools, colleges and creches will remain closed beyond 29 March.

The Irish Government introduced and extended measures including school closures, enhanced restrictions around travel and increased enforcement of social distancing. These measures come into effect in the Republic of Ireland from 12am 25 March and will be in place until at least Sunday 19 April. The Government has also published a list of essential retail outlets which includes banks, post offices, and credit unions.

Click here for details on what retail outlets are designated as ‘Essential Retail Outlets’ and will remain open to the public, while implementing social distancing

The impact of the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, costing tens of thousands of jobs in Ireland in little under a week.

Globally it is having ramifications with governments like the UK revealing a package of measures to bolster employers while global events like the Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed to 2021.

In Ireland new restrictions on travel, work and movement are due to be announced to stem the spread of the flu-like virus that has deadly pneumonia features. At the time of writing there are 1,125 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland and there is a backlog on the number of people, estimated at tens of thousands, who are seeking  to be tested.

In related news, Education Minister Joe McHugh said the Government is committed to holding Junior and Leaving Cert exams despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We don’t know where we are going to be in terms of the peak of this virus but I think we owe it to those young people who are studying and putting in the effort to see this through to try to have these exams this year,” Minister McHugh told Galway Bay FM.

To learn more about various financial supports for businesses during Covid-19 click here


Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 24 March, 2020