More than 50,000 people have applied for emergency unemployment payment in the past three days due to covid-19 lay-offs.
The government implemented the emergency scheme on Monday following the sudden closure of pubs and clubs. As thousands more businesses temporarily closed until further notice, the number of people without income rose dramatically this week.
The Government’s Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was announced to offer a new payment to all employees and self-employed people who lost work as a result of the outbreak.
The €203 payment will be available through a one-page application process and will be provided for a maximum of six weeks.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty said: “The new payment we introduced is just one measure and it means that we can get people into payment as quickly as possible. Hopefully this will provide some measure of reassurance to people unfortunate to be laid-off. We are also calling on banks, landlords, utility providers and others to exercise forbearance with regard to payments of mortgages, rent and utility bills.”
The Minister also expressed her gratitude for the work of the staff of her Department, as the processing of 50,000 claims represents close to two months normal jobseeker claim-load.
Meanwhile, the Minister shared details of how the Government would refund employers who temporarily laid-off their employees but are continuing to pay them €203 per week during the current Covid-19 situation.
The scheme will now be implemented by the Revenue Commissioners.
Under the arrangement developed with Revenue, employers who have to temporarily lay-off staff and who are not in a position to make any wage payment to them, are asked to keep their employees on the payroll and pay them an amount of €203 – the equivalent of the Covid-19 Support Payment. When they submit payroll returns to Revenue via their payroll provider, Revenue will refund the employer the €203.