Ireland’s government considering plans to pay up to 75% of wages

epa08303784 Scientist Doireann Loughlin- Waldron (C) showing Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (L) and Irish Health Minister Simon Harris a computer graph during their visit to the National Virus Reference Laboratory in Dublin Ireland, 18 March 2020, where testing for Covid-19 takes place. EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY

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Ireland’s government is considering plans to pay up to 75% of the wages of thousands of staff temporarily laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Irish Times reported.

Irish ministers are working on plans similar to those introduced by the British government on Friday that will see businesses paid up to 80% of a worker’s salary, up to 2,500 pounds, if the employer keeps them on the payroll, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Government on Friday night announced changes to its existing financial support arrangements, which would allow employers to top up the Covid-19 unemployment payment of €203 per week offered by the State to the 140,000 people who have lost their jobs in the past week.

It is expected the details of such a scheme will be announced in the next week, with work ongoing at Government level on how it would apply in Ireland.

Trade unions submitted proposals to Government on Friday for a €1.75 billion scheme which would pay workers up to a cap equivalent of €40,000 per year. It would see the Government pay 75 per cent of the wages for up to three months, with employers covering the remainder.

Unions and business lobby groups had strongly criticised the Government over the rules governing its existing employer refund scheme, which they maintained would penalise employers who gave workers additional money.

Irish Times 

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