Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I hope to be in a position to bring a proposal to Government either next Tuesday or the Tuesday after. Obviously, I will have to do so before 30 September, so that people who are triggering their redundancy claims will know where they stand on that. We have had some consultations with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, ICTU, Irish Business and Employers Confederation, IBEC, and others, as part of this. Potential solutions are being worked on by my Department and the Department of Social Protection, because this potentially brings the Social Insurance Fund into play. There is also work with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It is anticipated that we will require primary legislation.
The legislative programme, which I think was published today, or will be published tomorrow, proposes that our Department will put through six pieces of legislation. One of these relates to redundancy. The purpose is to give effect to our preferred solution. As the Deputy acknowledges, this is not a situation we envisaged when we created the pandemic unemployment payment. We thought people would only be on it for a few weeks. We now have people on it for more than a year. If this period does not count as a reckonable service, they could lose maybe half of their lump sum. That would be very unfair. We are trying to find a solution that is fair.