Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Code
264. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the situation for undocumented workers in the hospitality, retail and service sector who have been in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment until now who may be called in for intermittent precarious days and hours of work and who may not be entitled to a jobseeker’s payment thereafter if they don’t receive ongoing days or hours employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38835/21]
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was introduced as an emergency measure in the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19 to help cushion the financial impact on people temporarily laid-off work as a direct result of public health measures mandated by the Government. To date, over €8.2 billion has been paid to support people on the scheme.
As restrictions are lifted and the economy gradually reopens, the requirement for exceptional measures is diminishing and it is important that we transition from emergency pandemic supports to standard social welfare terms and entitlements.
The jobseeker schemes are the main income supports provided by my Department for people who are unable to find full time work. Jobseeker's Benefit is a social insurance payment based on a person's social insurance contributions paid from employment. Where a person does not qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit, they may be eligible for support under the means-tested Jobseeker's Allowance scheme. A person may work for up to three days per week and still receive a jobseeker payment.
The Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme offers a safety net within the overall social welfare system and may provide assistance to those whose means are insufficient to meet their own needs and those of their dependents. Supports provided under this scheme can consist of a basic weekly payment, a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of certain expenses, as well as single exceptional needs payments (ENPs) and urgent needs payments (UNPs).
I trust that this clarifies the position for the Deputy.