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.