Call for clarity over reopening of PUP

Changes to the payment have been announced after the reintroduction of Covid restrictions.

The Social Protection Minister has announced details of the reopening of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment after the reintroduction of some Covid-19 restrictions.

However, there are calls for further clarity on the measures.

Minister Heather Humphreys the limited re-opening of the payment is designed to support workers who lose their employment as a direct result of the introduction of the new restrictions from Tuesday.

Under the redrawn scheme, there will be five rates of PUP payable, which will be determined by the person’s weekly earnings.

A new rate of €150 will be payable to those who previously earned less than €151.50 per week, something the Department says will “better reflect the earnings of part-time workers”.

Revenue data will be used to verify employment status for all applications.

People earning more than €400 per week will receive a PUP payment of €350 per week.

People earning €300-€399 will get €300 weekly, between €200-€299 get €250 and between €151.50-€200 will receive €203 per week.

However, local TD Pauline Tully (SF) says further clarification is needed.

She says information on which workers will be eligible for the payment needs to be made clear.

“I absolutely welcome the reopening of the PUP for workers who are impacted by the announcement of extended public health guidelines on Friday evening.It is crucial that workers have access to financial supports when they cannot go to work through no fault of their own.”

She says there’s confusion over who is entitled to what, particularly as PUP payment rates were cut in recent weeks:

“The devil is in the detail, and we need to know more regarding the reopening of applications to the PUP. The various cuts to the PUP since September mean that households now don’t know if they will be eligible for the payment and how long will receive it.”