Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Wage Subsidy Scheme
427. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will clarify the previous assurances given to workers (details supplied) relating to payments to them as a result of short-time working; if claims dating back to the time of the operation of the temporary wage subsidy scheme have been dealt with; if these claims can be fast-tracked for the Christmas period; if her Department has been in contact with the company about its employees who have not received any payments or have been underpaid for days on which they were laid off due to the miscategorisation of their position by the company on the UP38 form; if workers, in the period before the EWSS was initiated, are entitled to some payment if they were only working for some days in each week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44324/20]
A review team has been set up in the Department to systematically review claims from Aer Lingus employees for the period between March and end-August when the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme was in payment. The Department is writing to individual employees of the company requesting that they contact their employer for the information that required to complete the review. The employer is required to complete a UP38 form in respect of the employee, providing details for each day in the review period on whether the employee was employed/remunerated.
Entitlement to a casual jobseeker's or short-time work support payment for any day during the review period depends, among other things, on whether or not a person received remuneration from their employer, including TWSS, for that day. Each case needs to be examined individually to determine if the remuneration paid by the company concerned was in respect of a complete period or only specific days within a period. This will determine if a person may be entitled to a casual jobseeker's payment in respect of the days on which a person did not work and were not remunerated.
My Department has continued to engage with the company and has also made an arrangement with the company that, if my Department asks its employees for particular information, the company is aware of what is required and will immediately supply it to the employee via email.
Unfortunately, because of the volume and complexity of claims involved and the need to go back to individuals, the process will take some time. My staff are committed to keep processing them until a decision is reached on each one and it is intended to get through the claims in the coming weeks.
It should be noted that all of the cases under review are currently in payment and, as only the March to August period when TWSS was in operation, is under review, current payments should not be affected.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.