The Irish Government announced a move to Level 5 Restrictions as of midnight on Wednesday, 21st October 2020. These restrictions are in place for a 6 week period (when the announcement was made).
Level 5 restriction include:
- People should stay at home unless they are required to attend to work to carry out essential services where their physical presence is required.
- People are permitted to exercise within a 5 mile radius of their home and a penalty will be imposed for anyone travelling outside of this radius unless for essential work or essential purposes.
- No visits to other peoples home or gardens.
- Childcare and school facilities will remain open.
- Non contact training can continue for school children outdoors in pods of 15 people.
- Support bubbles for a defined category of individuals to support people at risk of social isolation and/or mental health concerns.
- It is possible to meet with one other household in an outdoor setting that is not the home or garden.
- No outdoor or indoor events.
- Essential retail and essential services shall remain open.
- People over 70 are medically vulnerable and advised to exercise personal judgement and it is recommended to stay at home as much as possible and limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time while remaining socially distant.
Full details of all the restrictions can be found here
The employee employer contract remains in place during this lockdown period. Employers are expected to keep employees on the payroll where reasonably possible and access any government funding that is available and eligible for. Reducing the workforce should only be the last resort to a business.
The EWSS (Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme) and PUP (Pandemic Unemployment Payment) have been amended in light of the move to Level 5 Restrictions as follows:
PUP is now:
|Prior Weekly Earnings (Gross)||PUP Payment|
|less than €200||€203|
|€200 – €299.99||€250|
|€300 – €399.99||€300|
|more than €400||€350|
The EWSS has also been amended to fall in line with the PUP scheme and there are now 5 payment rates/bands:
|Employee Gross Weekly Wage||Subsidy Payable|
|Less than €151.50||Nil|
|From €151.50 to €202.99||€203|
|From €203 to €300||€250|
|From €300 to €400||€300|
|From €400 to €1462||€350|