May 28, 2020
Patricia Ryan TD clarifies position relating to on call workers

Sinn Féin TD for Kildare South Patricia Ryan has welcomed clarification from the Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty that on call workers are entitled to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

The clarification comes after Deputy Ryan’s parliamentary question was answered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

Patricia said;

“My office had several queries from affected people saying they were being refused the Covid-19 payment because they were on call. I asked the Minister for Employment and Social Protection to make provision for on call workers and small business owners that are on call in essential services.

The Minister responded by saying ‘company owners or directors, including proprietary directors, may be employees or self-employed depending on circumstances and may be paying either Class A PRSI or Class S PRSI. If Class A PRSI is being paid then the person is an employee of the company and must be laid off, and not receiving pay, to qualify for the scheme.’

The Minister also said ‘more broadly, if a person is self-employed, for example as a sole trader paying Class S PRSI, then the COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment applies if their trading income has collapsed to the extent that they are available to take up other full-time employment if it is offered to them. There is no requirement for the business to be completely ceased or de-registered and emergency call outs can be done providing the collapse in income and availability to take-up full employment still obtain.’

“I am glad that the Minister clarified this issue, it was a source of concern for many business owners’ and on-call workers. The reply has already assisted people in successfully claiming Pandemic Unemployment Payment, where previously they had been told that they did not qualify.”

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