End of Employer Protection against Redundancy

By MSS Sep 21, 2021

21st September 2021

The temporary provision protecting employers from claims for redundancy payments will end on the 30 September 2021. The provision was introduced as an emergency measure in March 2020 and has been extended six times.

The purpose of the amendment was to suspend an employee’s right to seek redundancy if they had been laid off or put on short-time work due to the measures required to limit the spread of COVID-19 for the duration of the emergency period.

Once this is lifted, on 30 September next, workers will be enabled to trigger redundancy and to access redundancy payments in the usual way. This can be done by an employee issuing written notice to the employer that they wish to be reinstated to their former working hours or claim redundancy payment. This can be done upto 4 weeks after the lay off or short time working ends where the employee believes they will not have 13 weeks continuous work at normal hours. In such a case the employee will not be entitled to any notice payment.

Conditions For Requesting Redundancy

To qualify for redundancy, an employee must have at least 2 years continuous service.

An employee can claim redundancy if on a lay-off or short-time working, or a combination of both, for either:

  • At least 4 consecutive weeks, or
  • 6 weeks within the last 13 weeks

The employer must give written counter notice within 7 days of the date of the notice, by notifying the employee that there will be work for them that will:

  • Start in the next 4 weeks from the date of the claim, and
  • Last at least for 13 weeks without lay-off

Special Payments for Reckonable Service 

Reckonable Service - Employees

“Reckonable service” is the service that is taken into account when calculating a redundancy lump sum payment.  It is important to note that reckonable service is a separate and distinct matter from continuous service.  

The State has confirmed that it will make a special payment of up to a maximum of €1,860, to workers who have lost out on reckonable service while temporarily laid off over the course of the pandemic and who are made redundant.

To support employers, where they are unable to meet their financial obligations in paying statutory redundancy to their employees, the State will fund statutory redundancy payments from the Social Insurance Fund on their behalf.  A flexible and discretionary approach will be taken in relation to recovery of the redundancy debt and, in many cases the debt can be repaid over a number of years. This is not a new provision but was always applicable where an employer could not pay the statutory redundancy to the affected employee.

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