Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (1269)

Claire Kerrane


1269. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused the pandemic unemployment payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6589/20]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is an emergency payment of €350 per week introduced by the Government for a 12 week period and intended to compensate those workers whose employers cannot retain them on their payroll. The payment is also being made to people who are self-employed but whose trade has temporarily ceased. 

It is not a payment to compensate for a partial loss of income by people who continue to work.

Like many other sectors, the farming community has experienced difficulties since the outbreak of the pandemic but the majority are continuing to farm and find a market for their produce. Arrangements are also in place to enable marts to operate.  

In common with all self-employed workers, farmers can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment but whether or not they receive it is dependent on them satisfying the conditions for receipt of payment.   

The person in question made an application for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on 24 April, 2020.  I am advised that as the person in question is continuing to farm and is not available to take up full-time work he is not eligible for the payment.

If the person in question is experiencing financial difficulties there are supports available from my Department in the form of Farm Assist or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

I trust that this clarified the matter for the Deputy.