Government considers short-time working scheme to reduce Covid-related redundancies

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The Government is said to be considering introducing a short-time working scheme next year for firms that have been hardest hit by Covid-19.

According to the Sunday Times, these companies will be offered a subsidy to put their workforce on a two or three day week rather than making people redundant.

Employees would be upskilled or retrained in other skills on the days they are not working.

The scheme is similar to one in place in Germany, which helped Chancellor Angela Merkel limit unemployment levels during the global financial crisis in 2008.

On August 17th, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection confirmed that 232,400 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

The Department also revealed that 706,200 people had received at least one payment from the scheme.

The number of people claiming the payment in mid-August had more than halved compared to figures from May 5th, with the largest percentage decreases being noted in Wexford and Donegal.

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According to data published by Revenue on August 20th, 244,400 people were in receipt of the Wage Subsidy Scheme in the previous week.

Over 655,700 people have received a subsidy from the scheme up to that same point since it began at the start of April.

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