Firms face redundancy bills as payment pause expires
An emergency measure that suspended the right of workers laid off by their employers during the Covid-19 pandemic to receive a redundancy payment will be removed after today.
The development means tens of thousands of employee lay-offs could be crystallised, if employers are not in a position to take staff back or have not already.
It also means some employers will face substantial bills for redundancy payments which in many cases they will not be able to meet.
In March of last year as the pandemic hit, the Government paused the right to receive redundancy payments out of concern it would tip firms already teetering close to insolvency over the edge.
It also hoped the measure would in the process limit the number of permanent jobs losses.
Last week the Cabinet agreed that employers who need to pay statutory redundancy to those who lost their jobs over the last 18 months could borrow funds for the payments from the Social Insurance Fund at favourable terms.
It also announced that payments of up to €1,860 would be made available to workers who had lost out on reckonable service used to calculate a redundancy lump sum while laid-off.
The payment will be available until 2024 and the payment will become available in the first half of next year.
The Tánaiste has put the potential cost of the measures at between €30m and €130m.
The Government has estimated as many as 56,000 workers could be entitled to redundancy payments as a result of being laid-off in recent months, although it is hoped it will closer to the lower end estimate of 24,000.