Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the government must legislate to deliver a fair calculation of redundancy entitlements for workers who have spent time on the PUP before the end of September, when the redundancy moratorium is lifted.
She further added that Sinn Féin has legislation before the Dáil to do this, and that she is willing to work with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on the matter as soon as the Dáil resumes.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“When the Pandemic Unemployment Payment was introduced last year, redundancy entitlements were suspended for people temporarily laid-off. However, no provision was made for workers’ time in service for the period when they were in receipt of the payment.
“As it currently stands, due to a loophole in the law, workers could lose out on significant sums of money because time spent on the PUP will not count when calculating entitlements.
“On a number of occasions, both I and the Trade Union movement have pointed this out to the government.
“Indeed, earlier this year I introduced the Redundancy Payments (Lay-off, Short Time and Calculation of Reckonable Service) Bill, which seeks to resolve this situation and ensure that workers do not have a lost 18 months when it comes to redundancy entitlements.
“Unfortunately, to date, there has been no indication from government that they will resolve this situation before the end of September, when the redundancy moratorium is lifted.
“The government must legislate to correct this mistake before the end of September. If they do not, then workers stand to lose thousands of euros in redundancy entitlements.
“I am willing to work with the Tánaiste to progress legislation to fix this issue, so that time spent by workers on lay off and short time, such as in receipt of the PUP, is calculated as reckonable service in relation to the calculation of redundancy entitlements.
“It is important that if future circumstances deem a worker needs to access to their redundancy entitlements, that time spent in receipt of the PUP during 2020 and 2021 will be counted as reckonable service, and it will ensure a fair redundancy payment.
“Anything less is a slap in the face for workers.”