Employees who were placed on layoff during the period March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020 are reminded of the following:
Under Sections 6A and 7A of the Severance Payments (Amendment) Act 2020-15,
a) An employee who has been laid off or kept on short-time commencing at any time between the 1st day of March, 2020 and the 30th day of April, 2020 will not be entitled to claim severance payment, unless he had been laid off or kept on short-time for 22 consecutive weeks; or for a series of 18 or more weeks within a period of 24 weeks.
b) An employee who had been laid off or kept on short-time before the 1st day of June, 2020 as a result of the restrictions on international travel due to the declaration of a public health emergency; and the consequent restriction in the operation of business imposed by the making of the Emergency Management (Covid-19) Curfew (Nos. 1-5) Directives, 2020 shall not be entitled to claim severance, unless he had been laid off or kept on short-time for 22 consecutive weeks or for a series of 18 or more weeks within a period of 24 weeks.
Employees to whom (a) and (b) relate should take note of the following procedures relative to the severance application process which are applicable to sections 6A and 7A of the Severance Payments (Amendment) Act 2020-15 and sections 6 and 7 of the Severance Payments Act Cap 355 A.
i) At the end of the layoff period the employee writes a letter informing their employer of their intention to claim severance, as they were laid off for 22 consecutive weeks or a series of 18 or more weeks out of a 24 week period. The letter is to be sent by registered mail, and the employee must retain the receipt.
ii) An employer has seven working days after service of the notice of intention to claim, to respond with a counter notice.
iii) The counter-notice of the employer must guarantee the employee 24 weeks of employment, during which time the employee would not be laid off or kept on short-time for any week. The employer must re-engage the employee within four (4) weeks.
iv) If the employer does not respond with a counter notice, the employee has a period of 3 weeks after the end of the seven days to terminate their employment. The employee sends a letter by registered mail, informing the employer that they are terminating their employment. The employee must retain the postal receipt.
v)If the employer files a counter notice, but withdraws the counter notice by a subsequent notice in writing, the employee has a period of 3 weeks after the service of the notice of withdrawal to terminate their employment.
vi) If the employer files a counter notice within the seven days and does not withdraw it, and the question of the right to severance is referred to the tribunal, the employee has a period of 3 weeks after the Tribunal notified them of its decision, to terminate their employment.
- In respect of iv, v and vi, the employee completes the severance application upon completion of the letter terminating their employment.
- In respect of iv, v and vi, the employee must terminate their employment with a week’s notice. If an employee is required by their contract of employment to give more than a week’s notice to terminate the contract, the amount of notice is the minimum as required by the contract.
Employees are advised to visit the Severance Section of the National Insurance Office for assistance in completing the procedures outlined above.