Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Questions (797, 800, 853, 863)

Pa Daly

Question:

797. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment will be extended for seasonal workers and employers that did not have staff in employment during January, February or early March 2020 but would have had full staffing at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13265/20]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

800. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if consideration has been given to the introduction of a pandemic employment payment for persons that can establish they have a pattern of seasonal work, particularly in the hospitality sector for the duration of the time they normally work each year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12700/20]

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Alan Dillon

Question:

853. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment will be extended to those that have been consistently employed by the State Examinations Commission in recent years (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13473/20]

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Gary Gannon

Question:

863. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if third-level students that had paid internships for the summer and contracts signed prior to 13 March 2020 are entitled to the pandemic unemployment payment if they have proof of a contract; and if not, her views on the steps that would remedy their financial situation and that of their families. [13622/20]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The COVID 19 pandemic unemployment payment was introduced as a time-limited emergency measure to meet the surge in unemployment which resulted from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Government has recently approved the extension of the payment up to 10th August.

The conditions for receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are that a person must be of working age between 18 and up to 66 years old, have been in employment immediately before 13th March and have lost their income from employment. If a person was due to take up seasonal employment but they were not in employment immediately prior to 13th March they are not eligible to receive the pandemic unemployment payment. It would be impossible to construct a scheme based on claims of potential or prospective but unrealised employment, particularly where the economy was operating at full-employment with many unfilled vacancies prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People who do not qualify for the emergency payment are eligible to apply for jobseekers benefit if they meet the social insurance contribution condition requirement otherwise they may apply for means tested jobseekers allowance.

Any person who is experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for financial support under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme which can include support under the exceptional or urgent needs payments.

The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) Grant, payable by the Department of Education and Skills, represents the primary support for people pursuing third level education. The matter of supports for students for the forthcoming academic year should be referred to the Department of Education and Skills.

I trust this clarifies the position.