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Layoff and Short-time Working under Covid-19

 

Under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2014 a lay-off situation arises if an employer is unable to provide work to an employee for which they are employed to do. A short-time situation arises if an employee's weekly pay or hours is less than 50% of their normal weekly pay or hours due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done for which they are employed to do.


Continuity of Service

Continuity of service is not normally affected by lay-offs. For example, if an employee has been working for an employer for 10 years and is laid off temporarily, their 10 years’ service will remain intact.


Annual Leave

Employees working short-time will continue to accrue leave for the hours they work.

Employees on lay-off will continue to accrue public holidays that occur during the first 13 weeks. They will not accrue annual leave during the period of lay-off. It should be noted however, that an employee who has worked 1,365 hours in a leave year is entitled to the maximum of 4 working weeks paid annual leave, unless it is a leave year in which they change employment.

The annual leave that they accrued up until the point of being laid off will remain intact. Employers should not pay employees in lieu of this annual leave. Rather, it should be made available to the employee to take once they return to work. Given the exceptional circumstances that we are living in, it could well be the case that an employee genuinely cannot take their accrued annual leave this year. If this situation arises employers should try to be flexible in terms of allowing an employee to carry over leave into the next calendar year.


Redundancy

The law on claiming redundancy following a period of lay-off or short-time working had been changed during the Covid-19 emergency period. The emergency period is currently set to end on 31 March 2021.

Normally, employees who are laid off or put on short-time hours, you can claim redundancy from their employer after 4 weeks or more, or 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks.

Under the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19), employees who have been laid off during the emergency period, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, are not able to claim redundancy.

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