Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (356)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

356. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection the expected level of redundancy payments the State will have to make as a result of the closure of Mount Carmel hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5535/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Statutory redundancy pay is calculated at 2 weeks’ pay per year of service plus a bonus week, subject to a pay cap of €600 per week. It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all eligible employees. I understand that approximately 320 people will be made redundant as a result of the closure of Mount Carmel hospital. It is likely that the vast majority of these staff will qualify for a statutory redundancy payment.

In order to qualify for a statutory redundancy payment, an employee must: have at least two years continuous service; be in employment which is insurable under the Social Welfare Acts; be over the age of 16; and have been made redundant as a result of a genuine redundancy situation. As no applications for statutory redundancy payments have yet been received from the provisional liquidators it is not possible to estimate the cost that will be incurred by the Social Insurance Fund with respect to these payments.

Where an employer can prove to the satisfaction of my Department that he/she is unable to pay the statutory redundancy to his/her eligible employees the Department will make lump sum payments directly to those employees. That will raise a debt against the employer which the Department will seek to recover. Where an employer is in liquidation the Minister for Social Protection is a preferential creditor in respect of any payments made under the redundancy payments scheme.

Question No.357 withdrawn.