Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Redundancy Payments

Thomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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220. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his plans to protect the rights and redundancies of workers. [44544/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Ireland has a comprehensive body of employment legislation, in respect of which the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is mandated to secure compliance. Ireland’s employment rights legislation protects all employees who are legally employed on a contract of service basis.

In March 2020 the Government introduced an emergency amendment to the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 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 during the emergency period. The Government was concerned that the financial impact of significant redundancy claims at this time would have a serious impact on the potential for businesses, and the economy as a whole, to recover which in turn could result in significant insolvency and bankruptcy situations, with further permanent job losses.

The Government has extended the end date of the emergency period to 31st March 2021 as it continues to be 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.

All other redundancy provisions remain unchanged and in force. If an employer is going to make an employee redundant, protections such as notice periods for redundancy and the payment of a redundancy lump-sum to the affected employee still apply and the existing range of employment rights legislation remains in place.

The Workplace Relations Commission’s Customer Service and Information Unit provides information on employment, equality and industrial relations rights and obligations, and can be contacted at Lo-call 1890 80 80 90 or 059-9178990 or via its website www.workplacerelations.ie. A complaint may be made using the Workplace Relations e-Complaint Form available on the WRC website.

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