PUP to be cut for part-time workers who earned under €200 per week

Pandemic unemployment payment will now be paid at two levels for part-time workers, dependent on their earnings before Covid-19



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9 June 2020

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The government’s pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) scheme has now been extended to 10 August 2020, past the initial expiry date of 9 June.

Under the extended scheme, part-time workers who had earned less than €200 per week before Covid-19, will see the PUP reduced from €350 per week to €203, in line with the Jobseeker’s Allowance.

RGDATA had previously highlighted independent retailers’ concerns that the payment for part-time workers was acting as a disincentive to work.

The CSNA had also represented its members’ concerns in this regard. In April, CSNA CEO Vincent Jennings reported to RTÉ News and other media outlets that a number of CSNA members were finding it difficult to keep workers, particularly part-time ones.

The organisation said staff members had quit because they were better off receiving the flat rate €350 Covid payment. In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast, Jennings commented that: “There are hundreds of employers who cannot get part-time staff so full-time workers are being asked to work longer hours.”

The issue was acknowledged by Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, in her explanation of the new split-level PUP payments.

“One of the issues identified with the pandemic unemployment payment is that a minority of recipients who previously only worked a small number of hours received significantly more in the pandemic unemployment payment than while in employment,” Minister Doherty said.

In order to address this issue, the government announced that PUP will now be paid at two levels:

  • For those whose prior employment earnings were €200 per week or higher (about 75% of recipients), the PUP rate will remain at €350 per week;
  • For those whose prior employment earnings were up to €199.99 per week (about 25% of recipients), the PUP rate will be €203 per week – the primary rate of payment of the Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme

“The changes to the structure of the pandemic unemployment payment means that it continues to be a strong support but also a fairer and more targeted support – no full-time worker will have their payment reduced and part-time workers will continue to receive more income than they did from employment before Covid-19,” Minister Doherty said.

“This is fair and equitable and is one further step along the way to re-opening our society,” she added.





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