I have called for the Government to support a Sinn Féin Bill which seeks to ensure a fair calculation of redundancy entitlements for workers who have spent time on the PUP.
When the Pandemic Unemployment Payment was introduced last year, redundancy entitlements were suspended for people temporarily laid off.
However, no provision was made for workers time in service for the period when they were in receipt of the payment.
As it currently stands, due to a loophole in the law, workers could lose out on significant sums of money. This is because time spent on the PUP will not count when calculating entitlements.
The Redundancy Payments (Lay-off, Short Time and Calculation of Reckonable Service) Bill which Sinn Féin have brought forward aims to address this situation. It aims to ensure that workers do not have a lost year, or 15 months, when it comes to redundancy entitlements.
This Bill seeks to boost workers’ rights by ensuring that time spent by workers on lay off and short time, such as time in receipt of the PUP, is calculated as reckonable service in relation to the calculation of redundancy entitlements.
Therefore, if future circumstances deem a worker needs to access to their redundancy entitlements, then this Bill will mean time spent in receipt of the PUP during 2020 and/or 2021 will be counted as reckonable service, and it will ensure a fair redundancy payment.