Thousands of workers who are still on the new Wage Subsidy could face a huge pay cut this week. That is because the government are going ahead with changes to the amounts employers can claim under the subsidy.
Until January 31st the maximum amount payable was €350. This week that is cut to a flat rate of €203 euro. In theory, employers should replace whatever is lost in a top up. But the Government have no rules around this. So nothing forces employers to make good any Government reduction in subsidy.
Other countries have strong rules to protect workers. Companies claiming the subsidy cannot pay their CEO bonuses for example and must top up wages when necessary.
But Ireland has no such rules. Companies can be profitable, can pay out share dividends and CEO bonuses and refuse to top up their workers earnings. The danger with this cut is that many employers will try to pass it on to workers using the Covid crisis as cover.
Workers should not lose out and any reduction in the subsidy must be paid by employers. If they genuinely cannot afford to pay the Government should step in.