Covid-19 Business Updates
Covid-19 Jobseekers Payments
Update to COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Scheme:
This payment has been increased from €203 to €350. If any employee has already applied directly before the 24th March or are already in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, they do not need to do anything. Their next payment will be paid at the increased rate.
The payment was originally to last for six weeks but will now be paid for the duration of the pandemic emergency.
The quickest and easiest way for new applicants to apply for the emergency Covid-19 payment is by applying online at mywelfare.ie. All an employee needs is an email to set up a basic MyGovID account which then allows them to apply online.
CLAIMING PAYMENTS FOR TEMPORARY LAY-OFFS
In light of the increased volume in the local Intreo Offices, the following measures have been organised by Intreo in consultation with Tralee Chamber Alliance for the Kerry Region.
Dept Social Welfare Q&A 18.3.20 – FAQ’s on Payment Process from Dept. of Social Welfare
In all Cases there are 2 Steps detailed below:
– Step One – To be done Immediately
– Step Two – To be done in the coming weeks
See Note at Bottom for Returning Forms
Click Here to Download the Covid-19 Jobseekers Payment Guide – which explains the process for employees to apply for the covid-19 emergency unemployment payment.
Click Here to Download the One Pager Application form for each member of staff – submit this immediately.
This new payment is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment has a simple one–page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €203 per week for jobseekers. It is designed to quickly deliver a social welfare payment to the unemployed and provide income security during this 6-week period. *Note this does not deal with the Dependent/Additional needs, see step two below:
Individuals applying for the above payment will also be required to apply for the normal jobseeker’s payments within the 6-week period. Once this normal jobseeker claim is subsequently received, the department will process these claims and reconcile payments at that time. This will involve backdating increased payments for certain customers.
Please see below the necessary information in relation to the steps to applying for and processing Applications for Jobseekers Payments.
We have attached Forms and Information Sheets to aid you and your Employees in applying.
Please refer to the correct category of form based on each individuals circumstance. Please attach any additional information that may be required depending on the Employee/Self-Employed person’s circumstances i.e married or co-habiting etc. Any queries on completing these forms, contact the below North Kerry or South Kerry numbers as relevant.
Submit Jobseekers Allowance/Benefit Application Form above AND
CLICK HERE FOR EFT Payment Method 03_20 – Your Bank details if you wish to be paid into the bank
CLICK HERE FOR UP1 JBSE – Application Form – Jobseekers Benefit (for Self-Employed)
CLICK HERE FOR UP1b JBSE Additional Information Form – Jobseekers Additional Information if you are Self Employed
It is essential you include a letter with your application from the employer with the following information:
- Your Name and PPS number
- Your finish date of employment
- If you are to be paid while off work
- If you are to receive holiday pay
- If you are to be paid for the bank holidays
Additional Information that may be required:
- If you have NO Public Service Card (PSC) please send in a copy of Photo ID i.e. Passport, Driving Licence and proof of address i.e. utility bill
- Your spouse/partner/civil partners payslips if they are working
As a temporary measure for the foreseeable future, the following procedure has been agreed with Intreo in Kerry:
- Complete all the forms with your staff that will be seeking benefit.
- Drop The Completed Forms into the Letterbox of the Relevant Intreo Office or if this is not possible, please contact one of the numbers below and arrange a Suitable time for the forms to be collected from you by an Intreo Officer at your place of work
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Covid-19 Business Supports
Restart Grant for Small Businesses
The Government has announced details of the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following COVID-19 closures.
Applications can be made through the following link: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/1379d35f32e648c39902393d51589589
More information and FAQ’s can be found on the Kerry County Council website: https://www.kerrycoco.ie/restart-grant/
Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is available to employers who keep employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning employers can retain links with employees for when business picks up after the crisis. It provides a subsidy through the payroll system of 70% of an employee’s wages up to a maximum of €410 per week per employee.
If you wish to avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme (70%) where you are retaining your staff, then click here: REVENUE GUIDANCE.
During the lockdown, all businesses are advised to ensure their Insurance Policy is not voided due to premises vacancy and to advise the Gardai of their closure. Please note a common requirement from premiums is to have your premises inspected internally each week.
There is an issue around cover for business which have had to close during the crisis.
- Unfortunately, the government do not have the power to force insurance companies to amend or extend their policy documents or cannot force them to make a payout on a claim in this area
- Most policies will not cover closure due to covid-19 as it is such a recent development. Even where a policy covers infectious diseases there is usually a list of diseases and given this disease is so new it is not generally on this list.
- In many policies even where the breakout of a pandemic occurs this must happen on the premises rather than in the wider population outside of your premises which is what is occurring now.
- Some insurance companies may not give out once off payments to cover losses to businesses as this would be an ex-gratia payment.
- Given the number of businesses affected, payments across the board to businesses may put undue pressure on the insurance sector financially to offer cover following the crisis.
Individual insurance companies will be offering various supports to their customers but this may not be uniform across the sector. This is because the cover the insurance companies offer is broad and some only specialise in certain areas, eg. Motor, directors liability, premises, etc. The supports may take the form of reduced or postponed premiums or refunds at then end of the term of the policy.
We encourage businesses to engage with their insurer and brokers continually on this matter.
The Government has agreed with local authorities that they should agree to defer rates payments due from the most immediately impacted businesses – primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, for three months, until end-May. This measure will be implemented by each local authority in its own area: https://www.housing.gov.ie/local-government/covid-19-coronavirus/support-businesses-impacted-covid-19-through-commercial-rates
For all businesses closed or negatively affected by the crisis, you are urged to contact Kerry County Council in relation to your commercial rates.You MUST make contact with them, you will not automatically avail of the rates deferral.
Short-Time Work Supports
Short-time Work Support is available under Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment for employees who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, due to business challenges affecting their employment: DEASP Short Time Work Support Booklet March 2020
While €200m Covid19 Support funding for businesses is being funnelled through https://sbci.gov.ie/ we advise that for immediate business funding concerns and contingency funding, please contact your local bank or credit union branch.
HSA Guidance is available here:
Impact of Covid-19 on Kerry Economy
Kerry County Council have published a report on the ‘Economic Impact of Covid-19 on the Economy of County Kerry’, which can be viewed here.
Guidelines for Reopening
Fáilte Ireland Guidelines for Re-opening:
Find here the re-opening guidelines for each business type:
Safety Statements / Risk Assessments / Return to Work Checklists:
As it is a legal obligation to update your Safety Statements / Risk Assessments / Return to Work Checklists for Businesses, the following links are an excellent free resource, or you can find them on the www.hsa.ie called BESMART. They are free tools to write or update your safety statement at no cost.
The Health & Safety Authority
Return to Work Safely Plan Template and Checklists for Business
Updating Risk Assessments and Safety Statements - free template for your business
The NSAI have updated their Retail Sector Guidelines to account for the new Protocols. Find the ‘COVID-19 Retail Protection and Improvement Guide’ here.
Failte Ireland have issued Operational Guidelines for the following Sectors: Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Caravan and Camping, Self-Catering, Attractions, Pubs, Activity, Operators, Restaurants.
Click here for operational advice specific to your business type.
Return to Work Safely Protocol:
The Return to Work Safely Protocol, published by the Dept. of Business, Enterprise & Innovation is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace when the economy begins to slowly open up. Access the document here.
We are aware of a critical shortage of approved Masks, we have received a list of suppliers in Ireland which can be viewed here.
Find here the document outlining the phased re-opening of businesses and society in Ireland.
Covid-19 Business Continuity
If you are unsure as to whether your business is permitted to continue trading, please refer to the government’s guidance on this: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a7e66d-latest-guidance-on-public-health-measures/
Operating during COVID19: Safety Steps for Businesses
These have been sourced from Industry Partners, Government Resources and from our Colleagues across Ireland in the Chamber’s network.
Food Safety / Food Prep Advice (from Safety Matters, Tralee):
Food and Beverage (incl Bars):
Fáilte Ireland Business Supports
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on the tourism sector, Fáilte Ireland are targeting our business supports to respond to the most urgent challenges and threats tourism businesses are now facing. All of these supports can be accessed at the link below, these include a number of Webinar (videos);
They include Videos on the topics below:
- Expert advice on managing business liquidity and cost containment;
- Information on accessing financial assistance and managing HR risk;
- Step-by-step guides on how to manage temporary business closure, temporary lay-offs and redundancies, if required;
- Guidance on managing further revenue shocks and jumpstarting sales for recovery;
- Information on accessing Government supports (coming soon)
- Practical operational guidance for businesses on steps they can take to help ensure the health and safety of their staff and visitors.
This customised suite of expert supports will assist you and your team to navigate your business through these extremely challenging times and will be continuously updated as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
More info on Covid-19 including an FAQ section;
Kerry College (Kerry ETB) in association with industry partners in Kerry are running an Infection Prevention & Control course– fully online, certified- minor Award QQI Level 5 course which is assessed remotely using video uploads and written work, no fees, and people can complete it in 2 weeks about 3 hours a day.
The link below will direct you to the Kerry College website where you can then view the course overview and apply through the FETCH website.
In addition, Kerry College is currently finalising a number of new blended learning un-certified courses for the retail and hospitality sectors, a brief outline of each is described below:
- Managing Compliance with COVID-19
This course is designed for retail and hospitality staff which will align with the duties of a COVID-19 Compliance Officer who may be assigned to the role by his/her employer
- Infection Prevention and Control
This programme module aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to prevent and/or manage outbreaks of infection and to recognise their role in the prevention of infection in the retail, hospitality and health care sectors (QQI Level 5 Certified Minor Award)
- Principles of Hygiene and the use of PPE
The aim of this programme is to assist staff in the retail, hospitality and health care sectors who will be involved in the provision of services to the public. The programme provides learners with a practical demonstration of correct hygiene techniques, and techniques for the donning and doffing of PPE.
- Hospitality Stay Safe Pass
This course is to assist in the training of Hospitality staff returning to work during the Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic. It is designed to align with the guidelines published by the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
These should be live by Monday 25th May and you are asked to contact https://www.kerryetb.ie/ to register.