Local Minister Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
The scheme was due to close to new entrants on December 31st but Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys brought a memo to cabinet to extend the scheme to March 31st 2021.
Minister O’Brien said, “I was very glad to support this memo today as I believe we need to keep supporting businesses and their employees in these very uncertain times.
“This decision also means that any employees who return to work in the coming weeks, will be eligible to access the payment again in the future, should they need to. That’s something I hope won’t happen as I do want to see as full a return to work as possible, but we have to have protections in place just in case and to give people peace of mind.
“Those in the aviation, retail and hospitality sectors have been worst hit by the pandemic and I acknowledge that the Level 5 restrictions have been very difficult for them.
“Government have taken the hard decisions in the best interest of public health and we know that the supports we have provided are making a difference. To date, €4.3bn has been paid out in the PUP scheme,” he concluded.