Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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1197. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will backdate the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment for staff (details supplied) who were due to be paid through the temporary wage subsidy scheme at the end of April 2020 but were not in view of the fact the liquidators will not release the funds for wages. [5630/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Revenue Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is one of a number of measures to provide financial support to workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The scheme is operated by the Revenue Commissioners and enables eligible employees, whose employers’ business activities have experienced significant negative disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to receive supports directly from their employer. It also ensures that employers retain employees during the pandemic in order to facilitate the business’ operations in getting back to normal once the crisis eases. The subsidy scheme is implemented by employers through their payroll system, with employees receiving the subsidy payment along with any other payments made by the employer. The employer, however, is not entitled to the money in their own right and it cannot be used for any other purpose other than in accordance with the conditions of the scheme.

It is a condition of the scheme that individuals cannot receive my Department’s Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment at the same time as receiving payments under the Revenue TWSS. However, it cannot be the case that employees are prevented from accessing financial support at this critical time by the actions or inactions of their employer. Accordingly, the individuals covered by the Deputy’s question should apply for my Department’s Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if they have not already done so. Where arrears arise these will be processed in due course and individuals will be notified of the outcome. In line with all other cases where arrears entitlements may exist, my Department is committed to reviewing cases as quickly as possible.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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