Covid-19: Ibec calls on business to take a strong leadership role

March 10, 2020

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that the announcement from Government of a package of reforms for sick pay, illness benefit and supplementary benefit is a welcome and necessary support for businesses and their employees amidst ongoing Covid-19 developments. Ibec called for such emergency measures last week. 

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “The health issues posed by Covid-19 require a whole of society approach to dealing with this very serious challenge. Implementing supports to ensure public health and wellbeing remain the outstanding priority for all societal stakeholders. Business must take a strong leadership role and support whatever measures are required to address this unprecedented health challenge. 

“The package announced stands to support employees who have been advised to self-isolate in accordance with the up-to-date HSE guidelines as a result of Covid-19, and those who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. In particular, it will minimise the risk in this Containment Phase of people who may have been exposed from coming into work and will help slow the transmission of the virus.  

“Employers must now do their part to actively support the Containment and Delay Phases of Covid-19 and, insofar as they possibly can, implement sick pay agreements that will enable their employees to engage in working practices that best support public health and limit and slow down the spread of the virus.” 

The group also acknowledged the announcement of an initial package for business of €200 million in liquidity funding, citing that such funds will be necessary to support heavily impacted business in terms of lost output and the consequent impact on working capital requirements.