Episode 002: Making use of lay off and short time during the Covid-19 emergency
About this episode of The Employment Law Podcast
In this episode we'll be discussing the use of lay off and short time to help manage your business during the Covid-19 pandemic
What you'll learn
You will learn what you should keep in mind when considering an employee for short time working or lay off. You will also learn how the law has been amended to help employers during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Employment Law Podcast Episode 002 Transcript
The Employment Law Podcast is brought to you by Employment Rights Advice.IE helping you better understand employment law in Ireland
COVID-19 EMERGENCY: MANAGING LAY OFF AND SHORT TIME
Hello and welcome to the second episode of The Employment Law Podcast brought to you by Employment Rights Advice.ie
I’m your host Tommy Myles from Employment Rights Advice.ie
Our aim is to help you keep up with the changing demands of employment law in Ireland.
Getting it wrong can be very expensive.
It can affect your reputation as well as your finances.
We’re here to help you get it right.
Employment law is constantly changing.
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In this series we will be reviewing the current Covid-19 measures. We look at the law and the finances. How to avoid falling foul of current employment law in Ireland and what financial supports are available.
We’ll also examine what to do about staying positive.
This week we’ll be discussing the use of lay off and short time to help manage your business during the Covid-19 pandemic. When your work has reduced dramatically as a result of Covid-19, you need to make adjustments. Lay off and short time working, as temporary measures, can help. You’ll learn when to use short time working or redundancy to benefit your business survival.
In the current fight against the corona virus Covid-19, many employers thoughts are turning to the use of short time and lay off. In this episode we examine the uses and benefits of the short time and lay off provisions in Irish employment law.
When should I use them and when should I not use them?
It arises where you have no work, or less work than usual available for your employees to carry out. Sadly this is all too common in many businesses affected by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. They were designed as temporary reliefs for when work dries up temporarily.
Lay off and short time working defined
These are set out in the Redundancy Payments Acts . Short time is where an employee’s hours of work or pay are reduced to less than 50% of normal weekly hours or pay. Lay off is where an employer is temporarily unable to provide sufficient work for the employee.
You must have a reasonable belief that the situation is temporary.
You would normally have to give notice, but in the current Covid-19 crisis short notice could be justified.
You must not discriminate when choosing the employees to lay off or put on short time.
You can download the form RP9 download here for giving each employee the necessary information in the show notes
I’ll mention at the end of the show how to find the show notes.
Lets take a look at some of the questions surrounding Lay off and short time
Can I place any worker on short time or lay off ?
To answer this you need to examine each workers contract of employment. There must be a clause in the contract allowing you to place a worker on short time or lay off without their consent.
It may be the custom and practice in your particular industry to do so, in which case you could argue that you have an implied right to do so.
In the current Covid-19 crisis many workers are consenting to being placed on lay off or short time.
What about public holidays?
Employees on lay off are entitled to be compensated for public holidays. This entitlement ceases where the worker has been on lay off for more than thirteen weeks
What about redundancy payment ?
Prior to the introduction of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Act, an employee could notify the employer in writing of their intention to claim statutory redundancy payment, provided they met the criteria. This right has been suspended during the current coronavirus covid-19 pandemic in Ireland . Under the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Act, an employee will not be able to claim redundancy during the emergency period if they were laid off or put on short-time work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency period set out in legislation is from the 13th March 2020 to 31st May 2020. This period may be extended.
Can I make use of annual holidays?
As an employer you can decide when an employee takes their annual holidays. You must take into account the employee’s family responsibilities and opportunity for rest and recreation. You must consult with the employee or their trade union at least one month before the leave is to be taken. Most employees are recognising the the employer is in a difficult position because of the Covid-19 restrictions, and are not insisting on the one month notice period.
Here comes the Legal disclaimer
This podcast is made available for information only. It does not constitute legal advice. Please do not rely on it when making any decision. If you want to discuss any matter please contact us directly and we’ll be happy to help.
Thanks for making it this far. I’d love to know what you are doing while you listen to the episode. Let me know if there is a particular HR or employment law topic which you would like us to cover.
Visit our website at Employment Rights Advice.ie and hit the contact us button.
Here’s the big show notes shout out!
You will find the show notes for this episode at employmentrightsadvice.ie/002
Don’t forget to subscribe to the show, wherever you get your podcasts.
In our next episode we look at MINDING YOUR BUSINESS. No I’m not referring to a nosey neighbour. It’s jam packed with tips and guides on how to take care of your business during these troubled times. Thanks for listening and stay safe.