Working parents that don’t have access to childcare can apply for the pandemic unemployment payment, says the Department of Social Protection.
Ireland has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks.
We now have the highest daily number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world for every million people, according to figures from the Our World in Data organisation.
And while the current level five lockdown will most likely curb these numbers, it has also caused more businesses to close their doors, including creches that many working parents rely on.
In recognition of this hardship, the Department of Social Protection announced that workers affected by a lack of childcare are eligible to receive the pandemic unemployment payment.
Workers affected by a lack of childcare should engage with their employer with a view to exploring all options available to enable them to return to, or continue with, work where possible
— Department of Social Protection (@welfare_ie) January 11, 2021
“Workers affected by a lack of childcare should engage with their employer with a view to exploring all options available to enable them to return to, or continue with, work where possible,” the department announced on Twitter.
“Where there are no options possible they are eligible to apply for the PUP.”
Rise in PUP recipients
There has been an 18 per cent climb in the number of PUP recipients, from 335,599 last week to just under 400,000 recipients this week.
The sectors with the most recipients have been Accommodation and Food Service Activities (106,387), Wholesale and Retail Trade (65,300) and Administrative and Support Service Activities (34,459).
Those with the largest increases in PUP recipients this week have been Wholesale and Retail Trade (up nearly 18,500 from last week) and Construction (up over 9,000 recipients from last week).
398,000 people will receive the #COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week
— Department of Social Protection (@welfare_ie) January 12, 2021
“This week’s figures show that just short of 400,000 are now in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment,” said Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.
“These statistics outline the stark impact the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to have on the Labour Market.
“But these decisions are necessary in order to protect lives, livelihoods and our frontline workers.”
More people have applied for the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment as well. Currently, 6,412 are receiving this benefit, up from just 1,661 compared to last week.
Stay at home
Minister Humphreys said that they’ve opened up the PUP to as many people as possible, recognising the difficulties that working parents are facing during this time, in order to protect the community.
“It is essential that every individual and family follows the health guidelines if we are to suppress the virus,” she said.
“Now more than ever, we need to stay at home as much as possible, limit our contacts, maintain our social distance and wash our hands. The more we comply with the guidelines, the sooner we can begin to re-open the economy.
“PUP remains available to anyone who is eligible. I want to remind people again that the quickest and easiest way to apply is via www.mywelfare.ie.”
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