Key info for employers from Budget 2021

The Irish Government published Budget 2021 yesterday and it consists of a €17 billion spending package.

Protecting businesses and jobs against COVID-19 and Brexit is a clear aim.

Here, we look at the key points of Budget 2021 every employer should be aware of.

The COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme

Announced as part of Budget 2021 is the new COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS). The CRSS is being introduced to support businesses affected by public health restrictions. For eligible businesses, as much as €5,000 per week may be available.

Furthermore, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) could be extended next year if necessary.

Working from home advised

It’s no secret that working from home has played an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

Having seen the positive impact the shift has made, an interdepartmental group has been established. This group will look to develop a national strategy for remote work and service delivery.

Furthermore, certain tax reliefs will also become available to those working from home.

Tax reliefs

Public health restrictions have affected most businesses. Among the worst-hit are those in the hospitality sector.

As a response to this, there has been a reduction in the VAT rate to 9%. This will support businesses throughout the tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors.

Also, commercial rates holidays will be extended, and employers can warehouse certain payroll liabilities incurred under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for one year without interest.

Other important Budget 2021 updates

  • The national minimum wage will increase to €10.20 per hour on January 1st, 2021. The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer’s PRSI will also increase from €394 to €398.
  • Parent’s leave and benefit will increase to five weeks for parents of children born or adopted from November 1st, 2019.
  • Illness Benefit ‘waiting days’ will reduce from six to three days for all new claims from the end of February 2021. Employees with no sick pay entitlements will also benefit by receiving their Illness Benefit three days sooner.
  • Investments in apprenticeship training, upskilling, and education programmes are also included.

Need our help?

For further advice on Budget 2021 and supports available to you, speak to one of our experts now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nora Cashe


Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.