I recognise that this is a most challenging time for employees of Aer Lingus. I understand that engagement between senior representatives from the Department of Social Protection and Aer Lingus has taken place to ensure that employees are eligible to apply for applicable jobseeker supports for days of unemployment, even when Aer Lingus is claiming the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Social protection payments are the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, T.D. and as such I have no direct role in issues arising around the completion of employer declarations in support of social protection payments. However, I would like to reiterate that the WRC is available to any interested parties who may require it. As part of its functions, the WRC provides information relating to employment entitlements and obligations, equality and industrial relations matters by means of their telephone service. This service is manned by experienced Information Officers.
Any discussions entered into voluntarily by workers and employers with one of the State’s industrial relations bodies, the WRC or the Labour Court, are confidential to the parties and I, as Minister, have no role in, or knowledge of, these discussions. I encourage all sides to make every effort to reach a resolution by agreement and with the help of the industrial relations machinery of the State.