Key questions still remain on welcome Special Redundancy payment

21 September 2021
  • Concerns for young workers and whether they’ll be discriminated against on age grounds and get less than €1860 special redundancy payment.
  • Concern for workers who opted to move off PUP onto Back to Education Allowance in order to retrain and their eligibility for special payment.

Speaking on the announcement of a special redundancy payment, Employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock flagged that how young workers will be treated will be a key concern of the Labour Party.

Senator Sherlock said:

“This is an issue we have raised with the government on multiple occasions during the pandemic because of the uncertainty facing workers who spent time on PUP and how that would count towards redundancy if their role was laid off once restrictions are lifted. This announcement today therefore is welcome but key questions remain about how it will work when the suspension of redundancy rights is lifted next week.

“There are fears of up to 56,000 people being made redundant which will devastate many households and families. Workers are entitled to two weeks of pay for every year of service when made redundant and due to the length of the crisis now they were at risk of seriously losing out if they’ve been on PUP which was originally designed as a short term scheme. The 18 months of the pandemic would also impact on lump sum calculations.

“Under the proposal announced today a maximum payment of up to €1,860 per worker will be available for time spent on the PUP if they are made redundant. The legislation covering this new scheme will require careful scrutiny and a further test will be how flexible an approach will be adopted when the time comes to make payments.

“That’s why we will be closely monitoring how this scheme will work. I do have concerns about eligibility and the qualifying amount especially for those who left PUP to take up back to education allowance.

“Unfortunately for many in retail, there has been a profound structural shift underway in the sector and we know of workers who were on PUP, clear that their employer would not remain in business and they took brave step to leave PUP and go on BETA. They were penalised then for trying to retrain -350 to standard UB payment. They must not be penalised again.

“The pandemic hit young people very hard, and I am also concerned about age rules as we know that younger workers are already discriminated with regard to unemployment assistance payments. Young workers already make up a disproportionate share of retail, tourism and hospitality. They will also face longer period recovering from the pandemic.”

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