Subcontractors working for housebuilder Cairn Homes are to receive up to €5m in forward payments during the period that its 16 active building sites are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The support scheme will see self-employed construction workers get a supplementary payment of €250 a week.

The scheme will last for 12 weeks and the money will be treated as an advance on future payment entitlements.

Cairn currently supports over 2,500 construction workers here but claims many of those, particularly those in self-employed trades, cannot access the Government wage support schemes or are finding it difficult to do so.

The company says application forms for eligible self-employed individuals will be sent to all subcontractors and suppliers.

Processing of applications for payment will begin immediately upon receipt of forms.

The company has also accelerated payments to subcontractors and suppliers for completed work.