In order to qualify for a statutory redundancy payment, an employee must have 104 weeks continuous employment, be an employed contributor in employment which was insurable for all benefits under the Social Welfare Acts and be over the age of 16. An eligible employee is entitled to two weeks statutory redundancy payment for every year of service, plus a bonus week. Compensation is based on the worker’s length of reckonable service and reckonable weekly remuneration, subject to a ceiling of €600 per week.
The current situation is that the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 provides that a period of layoff within the final 3 years of service before redundancy is not allowable as reckonable service and is not included as service for the purposes of the calculation of the redundancy lump sum payment. So, as it stands, an employee who is in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is on layoff from their employment and that period of layoff is not allowable as reckonable service. Time spent on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is not considered to be a lay-off period.
The Department has sought legal advice on the matter. It is legally complex for several reasons, and the Department is considering the full implications before any decision is made. The Department will continue to discuss with trade union and employer representatives.