Fewer than 1,000 people have applied for the Government's special Covid redundancy payment.
As the Irish Examiner reports, some €455,500 has been paid in the first two months of the scheme which provides workers with financial support from the State.
The scheme was set up to ensure that employees who are let go, who are eligible for a statutory redundancy payment, and who were placed on lay-off due to Covid-19 public health restrictions are not disadvantaged in the calculation of their redundancy entitlements.
The Redundancy Payments (Amendment) Act 2022 allows workers who were laid off due to Covid restrictions between March 13th, 2020 and January 31st, 2022 to apply for the payment, which will be up to €2,268 tax-free.
The payment will ensure that the employee being made redundant will receive the same total redundancy payment as though they had not been laid off during the pandemic.
Announcing a fund to support those who lose their jobs in the wake of the pandemic, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment estimated that 25,000 to 56,000 people could be laid off up to 2023, which would cost the taxpayer up to €130 million.
Mr Varadkar said it was hard to estimate how many people would be made redundant in the coming months.
"We're estimating it will cost between €30 million and €130 million over the next three years," he said.
However, the numbers to date are less than had been anticipated with just 961 applications received up to July 8th.
Of these, 640 payments had been made with a total value of €455,549.95 under this scheme.
The amount an eligible worker receives depends on the length of time they were placed on lay-off due to Covid-19 before the date they were made redundant.
The calculation for the payment is based on existing statutory redundancy rules.
The maximum to which any employee will be entitled is €2,268 if they earned €600 or more a week and were laid off due to Covid-19 restrictions for the full period from March 13, 2020 to January 31st, 2022.