15 Sep 2020 | 12.39 pm
Pandemic Unemployment Payment Deadline Extended
No redundancy claims allowed until after November 30
15 Sep 2020 | 12.39 pm
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be open to new applicants until the end of 2020. This reverses the decision announced in the July Jobs Stimulus to close PUP to new entrants from September 17.
Anyone who loses their employment as a result of the pandemic after September 17 will be able to avail of the appropriate PUP rate. In addition, anyone laid off for a second time will be able to avail of PUP.
Minister Heather Humphreys also announced an extension of redundancy provisions relating to temporary lay-off and short-time work until November 30.
The suspension of the redundancy provisions was brought into effect from 13 March 2020 in order to ensure the future viability of businesses and help prevent further permanent job losses. The provisions were previously extended to 31 May, again to 10 August and most recently to 17 September.
Humphreys (pictured) explained: “Today’s decision to extend these provisions was a difficult one. But in making this decision we had to consider the need to ensure businesses survive and that permanent job losses are avoided as much as possible.
“It’s important to note that the right to claim redundancy has not been permanently removed. Employees who remain on lay-off or short-time work for the requisite period when this emergency measure expires will be entitled to exercise their right to claim redundancy from their employer.
“Additional redundancies would expose businesses to further debt at a time when they are facing considerable trading difficulties and have a serious impact on the potential for a business to recover,” the minister added.
“The further extension until 30th November is necessary to continue to mitigate against the risk of insolvency and bankruptcy situations and further job losses, and will contribute to the viability of business.”
Humphreys has also secured government approval to extend the waiver on waiting days for jobseeker payments until 2021.
Ordinarily when a person makes an application for a jobseeker’s benefit or allowance, payment is not made for the first three days of unemployment, called ‘waiting days’. These waiting days will continue to be waived on applications for jobseeker’s payments until 2021.
Changes To PUP Rates
There’s no change to the reduction in PUP weekly rates effective from 17 September 2020, 1 February 2021 and on 1 April 2021. From September 17, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will move from two rates of payment to three rates. After September 17, the rate a recipient will receive will depend on the amount they previously earned:
• If they earned over €300 per week they will now receive €300 per week, down from €350 currently..
• If they earned between €200 and €300 per week the new PUP rate will be €250 per week.
• If they earned less than €200 per week the PUP rate will be €203 per week (there is no change to this rate).
Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will see the impact of these changes in their bank accounts on Tuesday, September 22.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry commented: “There are currently 210,000 people receiving some form of Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The government is cutting payments for workers who simply cannot return to work because of the pandemic.
“And it’s not a small cut either. Some people are having their payments cut by €50 a week, others are having their payments cut by €100 per week. With the virus on the rise again this is a vicious cutback for many households and will put real pressure on people trying to pay the rent or put food on the table. Fianna Fáil’s support levels are going to continue to tank if the government keep on keeping on with policies of this kind.”
Reversion Of Qualified Adult Rates
People receiving jobseeker and illness benefit payments who have an adult dependent may qualify for an increase in their payment, known as an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA). On April 3, the Qualified Adult payment for a person on an illness benefit or jobseeker payment was increased temporarily from €134.70 to €147.00.
The weekly rate of this allowance is reverting from €147 to €134.70 later this month.