COVID-19 – Supports for Employees

Following last week’s blog post on the Supports Available to Businesses, we have compiled a list of the supports available to employees and the self-employed who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At CDS Law & Tax, we can advise you on the supports that will best fit your business, situation and employees. 

Unemployment payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment is a weekly payment of €350 that has been made available for the duration of the crisis. This payment is available for employees who have lost their jobs or the self-employed who have ceased trading due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply for this payment if you:

  • live in the Republic of Ireland;
  • are aged between 18 and 66;
  • have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or are self-employed and have ceased trading due to the pandemic; 
  • if you are an employee and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic you have :
    • been temporarily been laid off;
    • asked to stay at home; 
    • not getting any money from an employer. 

The payment is available to: 

  • non-EU/EEA workers who have lost their job due to the pandemic;
  • students (and non-EU/EEA students) who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic;
  • part-time workers. 

Applications are made online at However, if you have left your employment or self-employment voluntarily, you will not be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. 

Short time

If you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, you may be eligible for Short Time Work support payment – a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit. This payment is made for the days that you are no longer working, and your entitlement will depend on the number of social insurance contributions you have made. The rate of payment will be determined based on the changes made to your work pattern and your average weekly earnings.

To qualify, you must:

  • have previously been employed on a full-time basis, and now work 3 days or less per week; 
  • be under 66 years of age; 
  • be capable of and available for full-time employment; 
  • have enough PRSI contributions.

You must also be capable of and available for full-time work. Employees can apply for this payment at, or request a form to be sent to you at this link

COVID-19 illness payment

If you have been advised to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE, or you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you are eligible to apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week. Those that need to take time off work in order to provide care for someone with COVID-19 can also apply. This payment is available to both employees and the self-employed. 

To receive this payment you must be: 

  • in self-isolation as per the instruction of a doctor or the HSE
  • diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • be absent from work and confined to your home or a medical facility 

This payment will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks where you are self-isolating, and a maximum of 10 weeks, or the full duration of your illness, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

If you have dependent children, you can receive: 

  • €36 (full-rate) or €18 (half-rate) for children under the age of 12; 
  • €40 (full-rate) or €20 (half-rate) for children between 13 and 18. 

In cases where employees or the self-employed are required to undertake two periods (four weeks) of self-isolation you must submit claims for both periods along with the required medical certification from your GP or relevant HSE documentation.

Should you have any queries or require advice on the supports suitable for your business and employees, please do not hesitate to contact us at the usual phone numbers, Cork 021 235 5810 and Tralee 066 716 9033, or email