COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees

Published: 12 March 2020

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection


Latest information from the department on COVID-19.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

3 major changes have been announced:

the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation

the personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks medically-required self-isolation or for the full duration of absence from work following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

the normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be changed or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed

You can access public health advice about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the government's information page.

See our quick guide If you are an employee or self-employed and feel you may have COVID-19, or may need to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19

Government has now urged all employers to support national public health objectives by continuing, as a minimum, to pay employees who cannot attend work due to Covid-19 illness or self-isolation the difference between the enhanced Illness Benefit rate and their normal wages.

This may be achieved through the employer considering a range of flexible working arrangements with their employees such as:

compassionate leave

allowing the employee to work remotely

allowing the staff member to ‘work-up’ any time taken at a future date

allowing the employee to avail of annual leave entitlements

rearranging parental leave

A number of income supports are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for people whose employers do not continue to pay them during a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related absence or temporary lay-off from work.

In considering how to respond to questions arising as a consequence of Covid-19 employers and employees are directed in the first instance to the public health advice issued by the HSE, available on their website . It is essential that all individuals and employers abide by this advice.

Who the enhanced arrangements are intended to support (COVID-19).

Availability of the enhanced payment (COVID-19).

Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19.

Workers who are not diagnosed with COVID-19 but who self-isolate.

Workers whose employers do not supplement/top-up the State Illness Benefit payment (COVID-19).

Workers who are requested to stay at home by their employer (COVID-19).

Workers who are laid off temporarily or put on to short time working (COVID-19).

Workers who need to take time off work to care for a person affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

People already in receipt of Social Welfare Payments (COVID-19).

How to apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences

Further information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The department is committed to providing information and updates as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves. We recommend that you check this page and our Twitter page for regular updates.

Employment rights information is available from the Workplace Relations Commission.