PUP will be paid to workers laid off in coming days

Workers urged to apply online for Pandemic Unemployment Payment as soon as possible

The Department of Social Protection is urging workers who will lose their jobs as a result of new Covid-19 restrictions to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) as soon as possible.

Applications made to mywelfare.ie by close of business today, December 22nd, will be paid on Christmas Eve. All other applicants will have to wait until after Christmas. However, the department said all those who apply by Christmas Eve will receive that payment within a week of their application.

A new PUP application received by close of business on Wednesday will be paid on December 30th. An application received on Christmas Eve will be paid on New Year’s Eve. New applications made on any date from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve will be paid on the normal PUP payment date of Tuesday the 5th of January.

These arrangements are specifically for new PUP applicants over the Christmas period, the department said, and those already in receipt of PUP will not get a payment next week as they received a double-week payment today.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said arrangements were in place to ensure those eligible would receive payments as quickly as possible.

“My priority is to ensure that the businesses and workers impacted by these new restrictions are supported,” she said.

“I want to assure all workers that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment remains open for applications and will be available to assist people who lose their job in the coming days. I have put arrangements in place for people who will be losing their jobs at this very difficult time.”

Department officials will be working throughout the Christmas period so applications will be processed without delay, said Ms Humphreys.

"In order to process applications as quickly as possible, I would urge everybody to apply online. The quickest and easiest way to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via mywelfare.ie.

“These are not easy decisions but people’s health is the key priority and the measures being taken by Government are essential to protect lives and keep people safe.”

Uncertain times for workers

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) said it had consulted with the department to ensure no workers laid off on Christmas Eve would be denied the PUP, or have their payment delayed over the Christmas period.

Ictu general secretary Patricia King said she recognised the need to reimpose restrictions. "The safety of workers is paramount," she said.

Workers are facing into uncertain times, she said. “Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic are challenging both jobs and the economy, but congress is engaging with Government to protect workers and their families.”

Public service union Fórsa said staff are on duty in the department over the Christmas period and it does not anticipate any issues arising with the processing of the additional payments.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Government had sufficient funding to meet this lockdown which is expected to mean “tens of thousands” of additional people applying for the pandemic unemployment payment.

He said Budget 2021 was framed in anticipation of public health restrictions on this level. Mr Donohoe expressed his “confidence that the budgetary framework that we launched on budget day will be able to respond back to the effects of changes in the public health guidance”.

Next year is expected to start with an unemployment rate of between 14 per cent and 18 per cent, then “averaging down around 10 per cent for next year”.