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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees

Published: 12 March 2020
From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

New measures

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

3 major changes have been announced:

  • the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation
  • the personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks medically-required self-isolation or for the full duration of absence from work following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • the normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be changed .

You can access public health advice about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the government's information page.

Government has now urged all employers to support national public health objectives by continuing, as a minimum, to pay employees who cannot attend work due to Covid-19 illness or self-isolation the difference between the enhanced Illness Benefit rate and their normal wages.

This may be achieved through the employer considering a range of flexible working arrangements with their employees such as:

  • compassionate leave
  • allowing the employee to work remotely
  • allowing the staff member to ‘work-up’ any time taken at a future date
  • allowing the employee to avail of annual leave entitlements
  • rearranging parental leave

A number of income supports are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for people whose employers do not continue to pay them during a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related absence or temporary lay-off from work.

In considering how to respond to questions arising as a consequence of Covid-19 employers and employees are directed in the first instance to the public health advice issued by the HSE, available on their website www.HSE.ie . It is essential that all individuals and employers abide by this advice.

Useful links

See also the following information:

Department updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The department is committed to providing information and updates as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves. We recommend that you check this page and our Twitter page for regular updates.


Click here for contact details for Social Welfare advice relating to COVID-19.

Additional Information

COVID-19 DEASP Additional Customer Information

Additional Information on Illness Benefit under COVID-19 from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.


COVID-19 DEASP Information for Employers and Employees (PDF)

Downloadable PDF with COVID-19 DEASP Information for Employers and Employees


COVID-19 quick guide

If you are an employee or self-employed and feel you may have COVID-19, or may need to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19


Short Term Working Booklet

Information booklet on Short-time Work Support (available under Jobseekers Benefit Scheme)


Employment rights information is available from the Workplace Relations Commission.