Working in the Irish games industry during Covid-19: What are your rights?

GWU Ireland has put together a simple explainer, outlining what your basic rights & legal entitlements are if you are temporarily laid off, become unwell, have to self-isolate, or have caring responsibilities.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for workers. Many have unfortunately, been temporarily laid off by their employer. Others are unsure as to what their rights and entitlements are if they are forced to self-isolate, or if they are diagnosed with Covid-19.

Some are unsure as to how they can manage working when they have caring responsibilities. In order to make you aware of what your legal rights are for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak, GWU Ireland has put together a short article outlining some of your key legal rights and entitlements if you are working in the Republic of Ireland and your work has been affected by the Coronavirus.

I have no option to work from home and my job has been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Will I be paid?

Update 24/03/2020 The Government is to increase the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Support payment from €203 to €350.  The payment will also apply to the self-employed affected by the virus.

Whether you are paid or not will, legally, be at the discretion of your employer. However, if your employer will not be paying you for the duration of the closure, you are entitled to a Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. This will be paid for up to 6 weeks at a flat rate of €203.

In order to get this payment, you will have to fill out a one page application form, which you can find here.

I’ve caught the Coronavirus and am as a result not able to work. Will I be paid?

If you have caught the Coronavirus you may be entitled to sick pay from your employer. However, if your employer does not offer you sick pay. You can apply for enhanced Illness benefit. This will be paid for the duration of your illness at a rate of €305. You can find guidance on how to apply here.

I am a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19. I cannot work from home and I have been medically advised to self-isolate. What do I do?

In the instance that you have been medically advised to self-isolate by the HSE/your doctor you are also entitled to enhanced illness benefit. You can find guidance on how to apply here.

I have a child/relative that needs care and I am unable to work.

If you are not sick, but you cannot attend work because you have caring responsibilities, you can ask for paid leave. If your employer cannot give you paid leave, you can ask for statutory leave. The Irish Government has asked employers to be as flexible as is possible in allowing staff time off to look after their children or their families. This could include:

  • Offering paid compassionate leave.
  • Allowing you to work from home.
  • Altering your shifts so that you can coordinate caring between you and your partner, or another person.
  • Allowing you to rearrange holidays.
  • Allowing you to take paid time off that you can work back at a later time.

If none of the options above are available to you, and you cannot arrange for paid leave from your employer, you can apply for one of the statutory schemes below:

  • Force majeure leave (this is paid leave)
  • Parental leave if you are looking after a child up to the age of 12 (or 16 if the child has a disability)
  • Parent’s leave if you are caring for a child up to the age of 1 who was born after 1 November 2019.

We understand that there are differences in each person’s individual circumstance. If you haven’t found the advice you were looking for above. Our advice line will be happy to assist and guide you through any difficulty that may arise during this pandemic.

You can contact us at the freephone number: 1800 819 191