Employers' body IBEC is calling on the Government to fully restore the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) as many businesses are seeing "demand dry up" due to the latest restrictions.
The group claims the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) alone will not be sufficient for firms, and there needs to be a return to the 'tried and tested' schemes.
Restrictions announced last week mean nightclubs will have to close until January, while indoor events can only take place at 50% capacity.
The Government today confirmed the PUP will be reopening for those that lost their jobs - with five different rates, up to €350, depending on a person's previous earnings.
However, IBEC wants EWSS restored as well, following recent cuts to the rates paid to businesses availing of the scheme.
They say supports are needed not just for the businesses directly impacted by the new restrictions, but also those seeing the 'knock-on impacts' of the new measures.
They've noted businesses like hairdressers are likely to see a drop in demand when fewer people are going out to nightclubs or pubs.
IBEC CEO Danny McCoy said some firms are dealing with a dramatic drop in demand.
He told The Hard Shoulder: “Unlike in the previous waves, Government are rightly trying to keep most things open. We’re not going to experience full shutdowns… but what we are observing is the demand for lots of activities has gone down dramatically.
“Businesses are just seeing demand dry up or fall to unsustainable levels.”
Mr McCoy said it appears to be “misguided” to restore the PUP without doing the same for EWSS, as both measures were brought in together to help support businesses and workers.
He suggested the Government's now trying to make a system up “on the hoof” rather than simply reinstating EWSS.
He stressed that IBEC isn't saying that PUP and EWSS should stay around long-term, but they are needed in the short term as companies deal with the short, sharp shock of the ongoing COVID wave and restrictions.