What's New

New Consumer category on citizensinformation.ie

We have launched a new category called Consumer on citizensinformation.ie. It replaces the Consumer Affairs category.

The new consumer category has detailed information about your consumer rights and how to deal with things confidently if they go wrong. We have added a new section called Common consumer problems and have new topics on:

Visit the new category to get help with how to complain and get information on the full range of consumer rights including:

You can also send us feedback which will help us continue to improve the content. 

Know your rights: National Car Test (NCT) booking

When do I need to submit my car for its NCT?

NCT services were suspended during the COVID-19 emergency. 

If your car was due for its NCT between 28 March and 30 June, your test date was extended for 4 months from the original date of the NCT. This means that if your car was due for an NCT on 1 June, your NCT is now due on 1 October 2020.

You can check the date for your NCT on the NCTS website. You can also request a reminder by email or by text message.

If your car was due for its NCT before 28 March, you can now book for a test.

Some NCT centres reopened from 8 June 2020. You can see what NCTS centres are open on the NCTS website.

If you couldn’t complete the NCT earlier this year (because of issues with car lifts) , you should continue to carry the Vehicle Inspection Report that says that your test was incomplete.



During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Summer Education Programme for children with special needs

My child is in primary school and has special education needs. What supports are available during the summer holidays?

There is a summer education programme for children with special educational needs called Summer Provision. It is similar to the July Education Programme, sometimes called the July Provision that operated in previous years. There are 3 types of support available – in school, at home and a HSE-led programme for children with complex needs.

Your access to these programmes depends on what is available in your area and on your child’s individual needs. You can only access one of the programmes.

The school-based programme helps your child to re-engage with learning, build friendships with other children, take part in social activities and build their relationship with school. The programme runs for 2 weeks and up to 4 weeks between July and August. School transport may also be available.

A home-based programme is offered only if there is no school-based programme available for your child because or it cannot accommodate your child.  The programme funds a tutor for 10 hours per week for 4 weeks between June and 21 August.  The tutor must be a registered teacher or special needs assistant and will be employed by you.  You can get detailed guidance on the home-based programme on the Department of Education website.

Your child can qualify for the school-based or home-based programme, if he or she:

  • Has a diagnosis of autism or has severe and profound learning difficulties
  • Goes to a special school or a special class in primary school
  • Is moving into a special class in primary school from an early years setting
  • Is in a primary school mainstream class and has one of the following disabilities: Down syndrome, is deaf (or is more severely hard of hearing), is blind or has a more severe visual impairment, has a moderate general learning disability or severe emotional behavioural difficulty

The HSE-led programme is for children with complex needs. Children’s disability service managers will engage with families to identify those in most need of these supports. The programme provides short respite breaks for families and therapeutic interventions.

You can read FAQs for parents about the programme on the Department of Education’s website  


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

What’s changing from 29 June?

The Government has confirmed that it is safe to move to Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society on Monday 29 June 2020.

We’ve summarised the key things you need to be aware of in Phase 3:

Face coverings  

In Phase 3, face coverings will be mandatory on all forms of public transport. You should also wear a face covering in shops and other places where social distancing is difficult.

Where can I travel?

From phase 3, you can travel anywhere in Ireland, including offshore islands. You should follow public health guidelines at all times. All non-essential overseas travel should be avoided.

Education and childcare

The following facilities may reopen from Monday 29 June:

  • Crèches, childminding facilities and pre-schools
  • Summer camps
  • Youth clubs
  • All indoor and outdoor amenities for children
  • All adult education facilities

What businesses can reopen?

From Monday 29 June, a large number of businesses and services are allowed to reopen. They include:

  • Cafes and restaurants, pubs and hotel bars serving food, hotels and holiday parks
  • Hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, make-up application services, tanning, tattooing and piercing services
  • Museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas and other cultural outlets
  • Driving schools
  • Wellbeing services, for example chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and homoeopathy
  • All remaining retail, services and commercial activities

Sport

The following facilities may reopen:

  • Indoor gyms and exercise facilities
  • Yoga, pilates and dance studios
  • Sports clubs and public swimming pools

The following sporting activities can recommence:

  • Team leagues for adults and children
  • Close contact sports
  • Organised sporting spectator events and fixtures

Social

From Monday 29 June, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted. Public health advice must be followed at all times. There are specific new guidelines for choirs and musical groups.

Religious

Religious buildings and places of worship are allowed to reopen.

Read more about Phase 3 of the Government roadmap in our document on Public health measures for COVID-19.

Citizens Information Services and COVID-19

All our Citizens Information offices remain closed to drop-in callers. From Monday 29 June, a limited number of appointments are being made in offices where social distancing can be facilitated.

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in our Find a Centre page.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

Know your rights: Returning to work safely

My employer has asked me to return to work. What do I need to do before I go back to the office?

You need to know how your employer will operate before and after they reopen and what you should do to keep yourself and your fellow workers safe.  The Government has set out detailed information in the protocol for returning to work safely. Following these measures will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.

Your employer must put systems in place before reopening. They must send you a pre-return to work form at least 3 days before your planned return. This will ask if you have COVID-19 or any symptoms, if you have been asked to self-isolate or if you are a close contact of anyone who has or is suspected of having the virus.

Your employer should update business and safety plans including how to deal with a suspected case of COVID-19. They must appoint a designated manager who will take care of suspected cases of COVID-19. Your employer must communicate with and consult with workers on any changes needed in the workplace, including appointing a lead worker representative. They must give you COVID-19 induction training.

When you are back at work, your employer must:

  • Provide temperature testing in line with public health advice and hygiene facilities including tissues, disposal bins or bags and hand sanitiser.
  • Arrange for physical distancing across all work activities of at least 2 metres where possible. This may mean staggering breaks, meetings and canteen facilities.
  • Implement a no handshaking policy, adapt any sign in and sign out systems and ensure safe practices.
  • Keep a log of any group meetings.
  • Regularly clean your workplace.
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and protective clothing where necessary.
  • Designate an isolation area where an employee suspected of having COVID-19 can go. The designated manager will arrange for the person to be taken there by a safe route. The manager must also arrange for the employee to get home or get medical help and avoid public transport.

You must:

  • Travel to work alone. If travelling by car you should travel alone or share with only one person while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Follow any social distancing measures your employer puts in place.
  • Wash your hands properly and follow advice on sneezing and coughing.
  • If you are unwell, get medical advice and you should not go to work.
  • Tell your employer if you think it is unsafe for you to be at work and why or if you are concerned you could be putting a member of your household at risk.

If you feel your workplace is not following social distancing or other measures, you can raise your concerns with the Health Service Authority (HSA). The Health Service Authority has the power to inspect and shut down workplaces that don’t follow safety guidance. You can contact the HSA by emailing wcu@hsa.ie or phoning 1890 289 389.

Your employer can get return to work COVID-19 templates and checklists


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

Know your rights: Package holiday cancellations

I booked a package holiday in July. Can I get a refund or money back if I cancel?

Yes. There is specific advice about package holiday cancellations for holidays due to start before or after 20 July 2020.

Package holidays are treated differently to bookings for accommodation or flights on their own. A package holiday is a pre-arranged or customised holiday. It must last more than 24 hours or include an overnight stay. It is sold as a whole deal and can be made up of at least 2 elements, such as transport, accommodation, car rental or tourist services like tours and excursions.

If your package holiday is due to start:

  • Before 20 July – you are entitled to a full refund. You do not have to pay a cancellation fee.  The travel organiser can offer you a State-guaranteed refund credit note if they cannot offer you a cash refund. 
  • After 20 July – you are still entitled to cancel and can get a refund or a State-guaranteed refund credit note, but you may have to pay a cancellation fee.
  • After 20 July and if the travel organiser has already cancelled the holiday – you are entitled to a full refund or a State-guaranteed refund credit note. You don’t have to pay a cancellation  fee.

Your tour operator or travel agent can offer you a State-guaranteed refund credit note for your package holiday if they cannot give you a cash refund. The State guarantee means that if your travel agent or tour operator goes out of business and cannot pay you back, your refund is protected.

The refund credit note has a future date. You can exchange the note for a cash refund or book a replacement holiday by that date. However, you do not have to accept a refund credit note.  You can get a full refund or you can get a part refund and part cash.

You also have the right to cancel your package holiday before the start of your holiday for free if there are  ‘unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances’ such as disease or serious conditions at your destination.

If you are planning to travel abroad, you should follow the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA). You can use the DFA’s Travelwise app or you can phone DFA’s dedicated phone line on (01) 613 1733.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

What’s changing from Monday 8 June?

The Government has confirmed that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society on Monday 8 June 2020.

The Government has also confirmed that the phases set out in the Roadmap will be accelerated with phases 3, 4 and 5 being merged. Under the reconfiguration of the Roadmap, there are now just two remaining phases instead of three, with Phase 3 starting on 29 June, and Phase 4 on 20 July.  The domestic travel restrictions (within Ireland) will be lifted from 29 June 2020.

The key changes from Monday 8 June will be:

  • Stay local: You may travel within your own county, and up to 20 kilometres from your home if you are crossing county boundaries.
  • Meeting other people: You may meet up to 6 people from outside your household, both indoors and outdoors for social gatherings. You can take part in organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities with up to 15 people. Up to 25 immediate family and close friends may attend funeral services. Outdoor summer camps may operate for post-primary children.
  • Shops: All retail shops can reopen from 8 June and shopping centres can open from Monday 15 June. People are encouraged to shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in the community. However there will be specific rules for shopping and shopping centres which will be published shortly. Opening times and modes of operation may vary. You should co-operate with store staff and abide by systems put in place for your safety.
  • Work from home: You should work  from home where possible.
  • Transport: Walk or cycle if you can. Only use public transport if you absolutely need to and wear a face covering on public transport. Public transport capacity is limited because of social distancing requirements.

Changes have also been announced to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and it has been confirmed that the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will continue until the end of August.

Know your rights: Maternity leave during COVID-19

I’ve been on maternity leave from work. What are the rules about the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for people returning from maternity leave?

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) provides financial support to workers affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.  The scheme makes it easier for businesses to re-open with staff when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

To access the scheme, businesses had to be substantially affected by COVID-19. They also needed to provide employee payroll details from January and February 2020. This meant that if you were on maternity leave or adoptive leave you were not eligible for the scheme.  People on paternity leave, illness benefit or unpaid leave were also affected by this anomaly in the TWSS.

This will now change. From 12 June 2020, Revenue will allow payroll changes to be made to the scheme for these workers and payments can be backdated to 26 March in some cases.

How to get onto TWSS after maternity leave

When you return to work from maternity or adoptive leave, your employer must complete details about you as a returning employee through MyEnquiries on revenue.ie.   The form includes details of your weekly gross salary. 

Revenue will consider each case. They will cross-reference the information from your employer with maternity benefit data previously sent to the DEASP and your last full weekly gross pay on record before your maternity or adoptive leave.

Revenue will then calculate an Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP) to work out your TWSS payment.  The payroll files will then be updated to include the calculated ARNWP. Your employer can still top up your pay in line with the current TWSS rules and threshold amounts.

If your employer took you off the payroll, they can re-hire you. They need to request a new Revenue Payroll notification before you can benefit from TWSS. If you stay on your employer’s payroll, your TWSS payment can be backdated to 26 March.

If you were getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you cannot get the backdated TWSS payment because you cannot get two payments. However you can switch to the TWSS from 12 June.

You can read more about COVID-19 and Maternity Benefit.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from: