Employers' group Ibec has called on the Government to increase its support for workers to remain in employment during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In a report published today, Ibec said that Ireland is an "outlier" compared to other European countries and needs to rapidly increase Government subvention of wages to avoid a shock across the economy.

Ibec said the Government is not doing enough to avoid the economy suffering serious damage as a result of the coronavirus.

It said the Government needs to spend another €4 billion to support wages in sectors where companies are in danger of going under. 

Ibec said it is crucial to keep employees connected to their jobs, adding that the new social welfare provisions announced to date are helpful but not enough. 

The employers group has compared Ireland's response to other European countries and concludes that the country is an outlier when it comes to supporting people to stay in work. 

Other European countries are subsidising upwards of 70% of net wages. 

Ibec also said that after the pandemic has passed, a substantial investment programme will be needed to reboot the economy.

Danny McCoy, Ibec's chief executive, said that while the public health measures remain the absolute imperative, it is vital that Government simultaneously signals confidence for our workforce and businesses. 

"Now is not the time for reticence. Our European counterparts are well ahead in terms of levels of income continuance and scale of fiscal packages," Mr McCoy said. 

"Now is the time for courageous leadership and a comprehensive response to prevent a supply side shock cascading into a demand shock which would permanently close some businesses and challenge the recovery," he added.