Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (688, 689, 727, 731, 753, 754, 756, 759, 764, 766, 772, 774, 786)

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

688. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to review the existing timeframe of the pandemic unemployment payment in respect of self-employed persons who work in the events industry; and if her attention has been drawn to the fact that if public health advice force events to either cancel or postpone later into the year many of these persons will be forced into permanent unemployment and the closure of their businesses. [15098/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

689. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a means testing procedure has been considered regarding future amendments to the pandemic unemployment payment (details supplied). [15099/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

727. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding an anomaly in Covid-19 payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15071/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

731. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which the pandemic unemployment payment of a person would be affected if the recipient was able to source casual work, that is, for a few days per month; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15158/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

753. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the consequences for those in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but accept short-term work for a day, several days or longer to maintain links with their pre-Covid-19 employment relationships and contracts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15413/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

754. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the consequences for those who accept work while on jobseeker's for the self-employed or jobseeker's for those who were in full employment but were let go at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis and the short-term work scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15414/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

756. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a system will be created by which those on the pandemic unemployment payment can accept sporadic work, declare it, offset that amount against the payment, yet retain the payment until such time as the live events sector and other sectors in prolonged Covid-19 shutdown return to normal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15416/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Lahart

Ceist:

759. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans for the pandemic unemployment payment and self-employed persons who will not be able to return to full employment due to space restrictions (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15513/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

764. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the consequences for those who accept work while receiving the pandemic unemployment payment or another unemployment payment (details supplied); and her views on the matter especially in terms of artists working in the arts and culture sector or involved in the live events production industry. [15528/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

766. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if consideration has been given to the creation of a system that would allow persons in receipt of a pandemic unemployment payment to avail of sporadic work, declare same and offset that amount against the payment without having to lose their entitlement to the payment (details supplied). [15530/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

772. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the consequences for self-employed persons who work in the event industry and accept work while receiving a pandemic or other unemployment payment such as payments (details supplied). [15618/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

774. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her Department can create a system by which self-employed persons involved in the events industry on the pandemic unemployment payment can accept sporadic work, declare it, offset that amount against the payment yet retain their payments until such time as live events return to normal or they leave the live events industry permanently to find alternative employment in another sector. [15620/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

786. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address the issue of members of an association (details supplied) having their pandemic unemployment payments reduced; the further supports available for this sector of society that continue to be without work as live music venues remain closed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15992/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 688, 689, 727, 731, 753, 754, 756, 759, 764, 766, 772, 774 and 786 together.

The COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment was introduced as a time limited emergency measure in response to the pandemic and has been extended until 10th August. A two level payment structure has also been introduced to link the pandemic unemployment payment level to prior earnings. As we gradually move through the phases of reopening our society and the economy, the pandemic unemployment payment will be assessed to see how it fits into cross-Government plans to keep Ireland healthy while continuing to get the country working again.

The conditions for receipt of this payment are that a person must have lost their employment due to the pandemic and are now fully unemployed. A self-employed person must have suffered a collapse in their trading income to the extent that they are available to take up other full-time work. Where a self-employed individual has regular employment or it generates significant income, then they should close their pandemic unemployment payment on the basis that they do not satisfy the conditions for the payment. In cases of doubt where emergency or sporadic work is undertaken, an individual should discuss the matter with the Department. In the case where a person is not satisfied with a decision to withdraw their pandemic unemployment payment on the basis of their level of engagement in employment, they can have this decision reviewed.

If a person is ineligible for the pandemic unemployment payment as they are engaged in employment, they may be entitled to support under the jobseekers benefit or jobseekers allowance scheme depending on their individual circumstances. A person in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment may take up employment but they must be unemployed for at least 4 days in 7 consecutive days to be eligible for a payment and continue to satisfy the other qualifying conditions of the schemes.

Jobseekers benefit (self-employed) is available for self-employed people who have ceased trading and is not available while a person is engaged in self-employment.

The Enterprise Support Grant has recently been extended and will be made available to small business owners who transition from the pandemic unemployment payment to re-open their business. The grant, of up to €1,000, will be payable to self-employed micro enterprises which employ fewer than 10 people, have an annual turnover of less than €1 million and are not eligible for support from the COVID 19 Business Restart Grant or other similar business reopening grants. The Department is developing the systems to put it into effect and will communicate how to access the grant in the coming weeks.

I trust that this clarifies the matter.