Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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205. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he has investigated the impact of the moratorium on redundancies on the workers and employers affected; and if he has considered changes to the primary legislation to allow workers who are on laid off or kept on short-time due to Covid-19, but who cannot claim their redundancy, to re-enter employment or undertake temporary employment with a different employer and still be entitled to their redundancy when the emergency redundancy moratorium is rescinded. [30367/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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There has been ongoing dialogue with both employee and employer representative groups on the continued operation of the emergency provision which effectively suspends an employee’s entitlement to claim redundancy from their employer following certain periods of lay-off or short time work due to Covid-19.

The decision to extend this provision until 31st March 2021 was a difficult one and I know it will be disappointing for those employees who are experiencing uncertainty and who were hoping to claim redundancy from their employers. But the Government had to consider the need to ensure businesses survive and that permanent job losses are avoided as much as possible.

The extension is also important for employees to ensure that they have a continued link to their job and a pathway to return. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open until the end of March 2021 in order to support affected employees as will the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.

If an employee chooses to take up other employment during lay-off and they remain available to resume their employment with their usual employer, they have an entitlement to claim redundancy from that employer when this emergency measure ends. The employer can then either agree to the redundancy payment if they do not have work to offer the employee, or they can give counter notice by offering the employee not less than 13 weeks unbroken employment.

In situations where the employee chooses not to return to their usual employment a redundancy situation does not arise and the employee does not have an entitlement to claim redundancy. There are no plans to amend primary legislation in this regard.


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