The Government agreed Ireland’s plan for the next and final phase of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and launched the “COVID-19 Reframing the Challenge, Continuing our Recovery and Reconnecting” plan.
The approach under this new plan entails a change from protection at the population level through regulations and restrictions to protection at a personal level, each of us taking simple measures to protect ourselves and others. This change will begin in September 2021.
Formal requirements / mandates for physical distancing will be removed on the 22nd of October next, which would remove the need for employers in most sectors to impose the 2 metre rule in the workplace, which would increase capacity on workplaces.
In terms of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), this will continue to be made available to businesses until the end of the year, encouraging employment and helping in maintaining the link between employees and employers. The current, enhanced, payment rates will be maintained for quarter three at existing turnover thresholds. Specific details of the approach to be dealt to be taken in quarter four will be outlined presently.
The pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) will continue to be available until February 2022. In line with the economic recovery plan, the payment is now closed to new entrance and will be gradually reduced on a tapered basis in the coming months to align it with the standard job seekers payments; this transition commences in September 2021.