Roadmap for reopening the economy

The government’s Roadmap to reopen the economy provides guidance on how various sectors of the economy can reopen in the coming months.

While the high level of vaccination is enabling this, workplaces and individuals have to continue to comply with all safety protection measures.

Reopening workplaces

The government guidelines add clarity to reopening workplaces. Many organisations have already consulted those working remotely to collate their views on returning to the workplace and future working patterns. It is a time of uncertainty for many, so giving guidance on your organisation’s plans will be particularly useful.

Balancing organisation and individual needs, balancing the right level of home and on-site working will take time to establish, so the coming months should be acknowledged as a period of experimentation. Many organisations are getting teams to work together to agree how best to meet the business need. Our CIPD Ireland HR practices 2021 research indicates that collaboration, team working, innovation, have weakened during remote working. Periods of working on-site need to invest in these, and help the workforce to rebuild the supportive social connections that the workplace brings.

At all times, activity has to be driven by safety measures. Equality and wellbeing have to be at the centre of decision-making, as this transformation presents the opportunity to embed these firmly into the workplace for the future

Financial and training supports

A range of COVID-19 business supports remain available to business, along with supports targeted at those sectors seriously impacted by the pandemic.

Access to a range of Skills and training supports for both organisations and individuals is being facilitated by the government’s new online portal The Right Course.

Income supports

Income supports such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) are being phased out. These will help to relieve pressure in the labour market. Th EWSS is expected to continue until 31 December 2021.

Significant changes are being made to the PUP from 7 September 2021, and no further applications are being accepted. The rate of €350 per week changes to €300 on 14 September 2021 and €250 in mid-November. In early February 2022, the rate of payment will change to €203, and individuals may then qualify for a standard jobseeker payment.

The rate of €300 per week changes to €250 on 14 September 2021 and €203 in mid-November 2021 and individuals may then qualify for a standard jobseeker payment. The rate of €250 per week will change to €203 on 14 September 2021. It will stop in in mid-November and individuals may then qualify for a standard jobseeker payment.

The PUP rate of €203 per week is in place until 7 September and recipients will then transfer to the standard jobseekers’ terms. Full-time students will no longer be eligible.

The Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme remains available to assist people who face particular financial difficulties.

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Hybrid working

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