Social welfare is set to be linked to people's past earnings, under plans set to be brought to Cabinet on Tuesday.
Under the proposal, high earners who lose their jobs would be entitled to more than twice the normal social welfare rates.
This means a worker with five years of PRSI contributions would be entitled to 60 per cent of their gross salary - capped at €450 per week.
Michael Taft, researcher with the Union Siptu, said Ireland is behind the curve when it comes to pay-related benefits.
Mr Taft said: "The principal behind a pay-related benefit is that people can maintain spending in the economy.
"That benefits businesses, and it also benefits the workers in those businesses, this is something that occurs in every other EU country. We are an outlier for not having a pay-related benefit."