Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (126)

Finian McGrath


126. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding an award under the Unfair Dismissals Act in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 17. [45427/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

There are two significant issues that arise in this case. Firstly the matter of seeking to enforce the payment of an award made by one of the employment rights bodies and secondly on this not succeeding, the potential to have recourse to the Insolvency Payments Scheme for payment arising from that award. I am fully aware of the difficulties that are being experienced by the individual in this case who has had an award made in her favour and yet continues to be unable to receive the payment due. This particular matter is currently being examined in detail in my Department in consultation with the Department of Social Protection.

Where an employer is legally insolvent (liquidation, receivership, bankruptcy etc.) the employee may be entitled to seek redress from the State under the Insolvency Payments Scheme which is operated by my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection. I am aware that there are some cases including the present case, where employers have ceased trading without engaging in a formal insolvency or winding-up process and where the company may have closed owing certain payments or statutory awards to its former employees. Whilst it will not be possible to address the issue of so-called 'informal insolvency' through the workplace relations reforms which I have commenced, as it raises issues concerning insolvency law and the operation of the Insolvency Payments Scheme, I am informed by the Minister for Social Protection that the legislative position with regard to these types of situations is currently being reviewed by her Department with a view to establishing what, if anything, can be done to progress payments to individuals where no liquidator or receiver has been appointed.

Any queries concerning such issues under the Insolvency Payments Scheme including policy, are fully within the remit of my colleague the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton T.D and should be made directly to her.