Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (573, 574, 579, 589)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

573. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans to extend the date beyond 31 December 2020 before which applications can be made for the pandemic unemployment payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38388/20]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

574. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position in relation to eligibility for the pandemic unemployment payment for persons who receive notice of termination of employment in 2020 and that notice period extends into 2021, that is, they are informed they are being made redundant in 2020 and given notice but that redundancy only takes effect in 2021; if, in these circumstances, a person may qualify for the pandemic unemployment payment assuming all other relevant criteria are met; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38389/20]

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Claire Kerrane

Question:

579. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment will be kept open to new applicants beyond the end of 2020 to ensure certainty for workers if restrictions are reintroduced in January 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38542/20]

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Seán Canney

Question:

589. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Social Protection if there are plans to cut off new applicants for the pandemic unemployment payment from 1 January 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38802/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 573, 574, 579 and 589 together.

I have secured Government approval today to keep the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) open to new applicants until March 31st 2021.

By keeping the PUP scheme open to new applicants until March 31st 2021, we are providing certainty to employees who may be returning to work in the run-up to the Christmas period. I have listened to the retail and hospitality sector and I know they have had concerns that closing PUP to new entrants on December 31st, as originally planned, would act as a disincentive to take up work. Workers now have peace of mind that if they have to re-apply for PUP in January, February or March, they will have an entitlement to the payment.