April 2, 2020
Low-paid workers being left worse off under government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme – David Cullinane

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment David Cullinane TD has highlighted this evening how low paid workers are being penalised under the government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme.

He cited the example of Penneys, who are offering workers just 80% of their usual pay; meaning many workers are receiving less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

He said:

“Sinn Féin have supported the introduction of an Income Support Scheme for workers and businesses to maintain a relationship between workers and their employers at this time, but we have also highlighted the shortcomings in the government’s scheme, which are now coming to the fore.

“Employers who sign up to the scheme are required to pay their employees no more than 70% of their net weekly wage, which for many is less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

“I have learned this evening that Penneys are offering workers just 80% of their usual pay, meaning many of their workers fall into the category of those earning less than they would on welfare payments. This is completely unacceptable.

“Sinn Féin are engaging with ICTU and with Mandate on this matter, and we have called on the Minister for Finance and Revenue to ensure that the government’s scheme fixes a €350 minimum payment.”

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