From 30th September the suspension of the right of employees to claim redundancy during lay off or short time as legislated for by the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid 19) Act 2020, section 29 has been lifted.
Prior to March 2020, employees placed on lay off or short time for in excess of four consecutive weeks or for six weeks in the previous 13 weeks had a right to serve a notice on their employer claiming a right to be made redundant and consequently claim a redundancy lump sum payment.
This rule was suspended in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic so that employees on lay off or short time could not claim a right to be made redundant. This was designed to avoid high numbers of redundancy pay-outs during the pandemic.
Once lifted, this means that employees who are still on lay off when the suspension is lifted will be able to serve written notice on their employer claiming redundancy.
Employers should note that where an employee claims redundancy in this manner they lose any right to notice, or payment in lieu of notice, from their employer.
In order to refute such a claim an employer must, within 7 days, serve a counter notice on the employee where they believe that they will have work for that employee within 4 weeks of the notice and that this work will last for 13 weeks without lay off or short time.
In the ordinary course any period of lay off was not counted as “reckonable service” when calculating an employee’s redundancy lump sum payment. This meant that employees who have been on lay off since the beginning of the pandemic could lose out on 18 months reckonable service. To address this, the Government announced on 21 September 2021 that a special payment of up €1,860 would be paid to employees who have lost out on reckonable service while temporarily laid off during the pandemic and subsequently made redundant.
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