Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Ceisteanna (496)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

496. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection if consideration will be given to extending pandemic unemployment payment eligibility to persons who are off work to care for an elderly or sick relative during the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6688/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The COVID 19 pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) is a statutory scheme paid to people who have lost employment as a consequence of Covid-19 and are not being paid by their employer. PUP is not payable where a person leaves work to care for an elderly or sick relative.

From the outset of Covid-19, many employers will have taken the initiative, in line with requests from the Government, to be as flexible as possible where employees have caring responsibilities.

There is a range of flexible options that may be available to a person in this particular situation including working from home, altering shifts so that they can co-ordinate caring between themselves and partners or another person. Employers may also allow employees to rearrange holidays or take paid time off that can be worked back at a later time.

Where it is not possible to make appropriate compassionate leave arrangements, employees may be able to avail of some statutory entitlements including force majeure leave, carer's leave together with carer's benefit or carer's allowance.

Any person who is experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for other financial supports under the means tested Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme including an Exceptional or Urgent Needs Payment.

I trust that this clarifies the position.