Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Coronavirus Outbreak

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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1174. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the position regarding persons that have to take time off work including those that are told to self-quarantine and those whose workplaces close for a period of time due to Covid-19; the social welfare supports available to them; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3710/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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There are a number of income supports available to support people required to take time off from work for illness related reasons, including in circumstances of self-isolation. Illness Benefit is, for example, payable to people who self-isolate on medical advice. Income supports are also available to support short-time working and temporary lay-offs., these include Short-time Working Payments and Jobseeker payments.

The Government is currently reviewing if,  and if so how,  the existing Social Protection supports might be adapted to support employer and employees to respond effectively in the particular circumstances of the Covid-19 situation. Towards this end officials will meet with employer and trade union representatives over the next few days.

Following this consultation with employers and trade union representatives, proposals will be considered by the Cabinet Subcommittee chaired by the Taoiseach on Monday 9th March and any changes to arrangements will be published as soon as possible thereafter.

Further guidance on the statutory framework and social protection income supports is available from the Workplace Relations Commission at www.workplacerelations.ie and from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection at www.gov.ie. 

I hope this clarifies matters for the Deputy.


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