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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland


The Coronavirus crisis has already had a major impact on all our lives and most of us are willing to take difficult steps to protect ourselves, our communities and our families. But it can feel like, as workers, we’re being made to pay for the crisis while our bosses ignore the impact COVID-19 may have on our health and wallets.

The IWW wants you to make sure that workers across the country know their rights. We also want to give advice about how we can organise with our workmates.

The IWW wants to make sure that workers across Ireland know their rights and we have produced this leaflet for this jurisdiction. We want to give some advice about how we can organise with our workmates to protect our livelihoods during this crisis. SICK PAY

Sick pay is not an automatic part of contracts in the Republic of Ireland.

Your employer may have included it so check your work documents.

The Republic guarantees what is called ILLNESS BENEFIT from the DEASP. See citizensinformation. ie for more details on how to apply. There are 6 unpaid ‘waiting days’. The payment can’t start until these expire and it is will paid at €203/week.

Sick pay to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is very different. It starts from day one. According

When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €305 per week. Seegov.ieor

citizensinformation.iefor more. You can apply online


If you are not offered work or you are placed on layoff due to your employer reducing hours or closing seecitizensinformation.ieorgov.iefor the rules in the Republic.

If reason for the above is the COVID-19 crisis, you should immediately apply for two things: COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment AND a normal jobseeker’s payment. Working students on Stamp 2 and 2A are eligible.

There is different scheme your employer may use, the Covid-19 Employer Refund Scheme.

It allows employers to make the payment equivalent to the Covid-19 Unemployment payment (of €350) to laid off workers. This approach helps maintain the link between employers and workers and make the return to work easier. Ask your employer to use this with your workmates if possible.


Many employers have told staff to take annual leave or use our sick days if we need to self-isolate.

Others have already cut hours and it’s likely that workplaces across the country may be shut for weeks if not months. Our employers need to step up and make sure no one is out of pocket due to COVID-19.

Now is the time to make our voices heard, so:

Speak to as many of your workmates as possible Arrange to meet up

Draw a request for full pay during this coronavirus crisis

Decide what you’ll do if the boss says no Go to your boss together and present your demands



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