• Shashank R. Chakerwarti

What does the government's new income support package imply for self-isolated workers?

Updated: Mar 31, 2020



A new higher sick pay standard, of € 305 per week, from their first day of sickness, will be given to private employees who are infected by coronavirus under the new government-announced €2.4 billion program.


The new measures announced are intended to ensure that all workers live in their homes for two weeks, according to the government.


On Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that provisions related to illness payment would be abolished, such as having a specific amount of PRSI donations. This is important to self-employed workers and others who are not normally required to collect PRSI deductions.


He argued that the current provision that patients have to wait to receive sick payments until the sixth day of their absence does not apply, so the payment is in effect immediately.


Many workers may be able to work remotely at home so that they are able to keep their pay entirely every two weeks, but this is not a choice for many employees. The Taoiseach announced that the Dáil will enact emergency legislation in order to change the existing sick pay laws next week:


  • Businesses will (legally) continue to pay you if your employer asks you to self-isolate, but if the business fails to pay workers for self-isolation recommended by HSE or the business can not manage the ability to continue to pay employees in turn because they have to cease operations during that period, government support would commence.

  • The extra benefit payment check will be abolished, processing times will reduce and all employees will be compensated–self-employed individuals included.

  • The supplementary welfare allowance is €201 per week for those aged over 18 and living independently.

  • The government will also provide €200 million liquidity support for impacted firms.


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