Waterford TD welcomes government's 'swift action' to job losses
Green Party’s Spokesperson on Social Protection, Waterford’s Marc Ó Cathasaigh TD has welcomed the Government’s swift action in meeting the needs of workers and businesses who have seen their incomes fall away to nothing overnight but says that their measures need to be updated as the crisis develops.
“As the crisis unfolds, the government will need to consider supporting businesses to pay higher rates to employees in order to keep them on the payroll. This will allow businesses to reopen more quickly once the crisis is past and provide increased security for workers.”
Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said: “I have been contacted by individuals and business owners seeking information and clarity on the range of supports being put in place for people who have suddenly lost their jobs. As well as employees, there are the self-employed and business owners who have seen business drop off at an unprecedented rate.”
He added: “The Department acted quickly and put measures in place but these measures need to be monitored and updated as new issues arise or forgotten groupings emerge. The supports are there and if anyone is having difficulty navigating the measures that the Government has put in place, please contact me directly and I will advise them.”
If you are affected by this, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh asked that you don’t go to your local INTREO office but that you access the information online at welfare.ie or gov.ie. If you know someone who is affected but who may be struggling with accessing the information, he suggested you help them out.
“The Department is doing a good job in rolling out these measures. However, the language can be complicated, and many people applying now may never have done so before. If someone you know is finding the forms difficult to get their heads around, that’s a great way for you to help someone.
"I’m happy to help in any way I can as well."
Some of the supports which are currently available include the following:
If you have lost your job due to the Corona crisis, there is a specific Pandemic Unemployment Benefit you can apply for.
If you are an employer who has had to shorten your employees’ week or has had to close for a number of weeks, there are supports available for you to continue paying your staff if you can afford to do so.
If you have had your working week shortened as your employer reacts to the current situation, you may be able to claim for the days you are not working.
Self-employed people, who normally have to wait for a number of months before they become eligible for social welfare, also have new rules in place.
If you are on sick leave due to the Corona Virus, there is an enhanced Illness Benefit payment available to cover your period of self-isolation.
He finished by saying that: “These measures are being updated and there may be more measures down the line as the situation develops so keep watch out for updates through the media, the government websites or my own social media”