Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (207)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

207. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which it is expected a person (details supplied) can repay liability on the sum of €7,503.66 under the redundancy and insolvency payments schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26002/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Redundancy Payments Act 1967, as amended, provides for the making of payments by employers to employees in respect of redundancy. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay statutory redundancy payments to all eligible employees. In the event that an employer is unable to pay due to financial difficulties, an application for payment from the Social Insurance Fund may be submitted to the Department.

When such a redundancy payment is made from the Social Insurance Fund, a debt is immediately raised against the employer. The Department is obliged to make every effort to recover the debt owed to the Social Insurance Fund, in accordance with Section 32 of Act.

If the employer is a sole trader or partnership, the Department engages directly with the employer to ascertain their current financial situation and their capacity to repay the debt. Where appropriate, an agreed repayment plan can be put in place to minimise financial hardship; for example, the debt can be recovered by way of instalments over a period of time.

I note that correspondence issued from the Debt Management Unit in my department to the person named. However, no response was received from that person. It is important that the matter is discussed between the person and the Department. Further correspondence will issue on the matter and I recommend that the employer engages with the Department accordingly.

I would also like to remind the Deputy that any person who is experiencing difficulties with their mortgage repayments can avail of the Government's Abhaile service which is run by MABS (www.mabs.ie/abhaile.ie ). Borrowers who qualify for this scheme will incur no charge for using this service.

I trust that this clarifies the matter.