Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Section 12A is the emergency provision of the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 which effectively suspends an employee’s entitlement to claim redundancy from their employer following certain periods of lay-off or short time work due to Covid-19. This suspension has recently been extended to 30th September 2021.
This was a difficult decision, and I am aware that many employees are experiencing uncertainty and want their employment position regularised.
However, the public health situation is not yet resolved and restrictions are being eased on a gradual basis. Many businesses will continue to be impacted by restrictions for some period of time as the economy re-opens.
Reinstating the entitlement for employees to claim redundancy before the end of September 2021 would have a serious impact on the potential for a business to recover and push many into insolvency situations, exacerbate employment losses and delay economic recovery.
This further extension to 30th September 2021 will afford businesses some time to recover and provide them with some breathing space to consider their financial position and assess their future staffing requirements as the economy gradually re-opens.
The extension is also important for employees to ensure that they have a continued link to their job and a pathway to return. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme have also been extended from the end of June to support affected employees.
All other redundancy provisions remain unchanged and in force. If an employer is going to make an employee redundant, protections such as notice periods for redundancy and the payment of a redundancy lump-sum to the affected employee still apply and the existing suite of employment rights legislation remains in place.