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Appointing a Lead Worker Representative.

The National Return to Work Safely Protocol document sets out the principal and practical steps required in order that employers and employees can keep themselves and their workplaces safe following a return to work.  A key piece of this protocol is the requirement for each workplace to appoint at least one Lead Worker Representative. During the COVID-19 crisis some workplaces have remained open and workers have continued to provide services throughout the restrictions. The protocol applies to these workplaces and also to workplaces opening up again in the phased return to work. This guide is designed to aid employers to ensure that they are complying with the protocols relating to selecting, training and supporting their Lead Worker Representative. Read here


Government Supports

The government has created a National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme. This will provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis.

23/07/20: Revenue have released V17 of their FAQ document on the Temporary wage subsidy scheme, available here 

This update includes:

  • How to report an employee commencing or ceasing employment mid scheme
  • Details on how to treat employees in receipt of other payments from the department of employment affairs and social protection (DEASP)
  • Details on how to treat employees who were on leave and in receipt of DEASP payments in January/February
  • Reasons why a refund was not processed, or the refund was lower than expected
  • Process for returning money if the refund was overpaid

Workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is now paid at 2 rates – depending on the amount you used to get paid:

  • if you earned €200 per week or more – the rate of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is €350 per week
  • if you earned €199.99 or less per week – you will receive €203 per week, which is the same as the primary rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • if you were receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit as a part-time or casual worker immediately before this payment, you will remain on the rate of €350 per week
    • A presentation about the scheme can be found HERE
    • FAQs for employees and employers can be found HERE
  • COVID-19 illness paymentThis payment is for workers and the self-employed who cannot work in the short term because they have been medically certified to self-isolate or are ill due to COVID-19. The application process is the same as Illness Benefit and you will need to be medically certified by your GP. A Certificate of Incapacity for Work or an eCert equivalent is required from your GP.  You may not need to attend your GP in person. Please refer to HSE guidelines. The personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €350 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks where medically-required to self-isolate or longer following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.Read in full HERE

In the unfortunate cases where staff will need to be let go, ISME HR has a number of resources for you in the Members Area such as templates for:

  • Redundancy Letter – At Risk
  • Template Letter for Redundancy and payment
  • Lay Off Notification
  • Short Time Notification
  • Collective Redundancy
  • Protective Notice

You can access these here

ISME’s Employee Wellbeing during COVID-19 Guide looks at a number of areas of wellbeing an employer can use to supports staff available here.

You can also email or call our HR Support service Monday – Thursday 9.00 -5.30 and Friday 9.00 -5.00


  • FAQ booklet on COVID-19 Income Supports available here
  • Government announces new COVID-19 Income Support Scheme
    The government has today announced a National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme. This will provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis. Find out more here:
  • Employer Refund Scheme update on top-ups
    There has been an update to the Employer Refund Scheme, allowing employers engaged with the scheme to top up the payment provided by the State. Find out more here:
  • Minister Doherty announces details of the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme. Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today announced 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 (Coronavirus) situation. 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. Read about it here