Staff declining to return to work is proving troublesome for the industry

Staffing Issues have gained Government attention.

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There’s been much talk within the industry and many of our Members have been in touch voicing their frustrations of staff not returning to work, despite there being ample work. The resulting anxiety and challenges have gained much media attention and following reports around staff not returning to work the Department of Social Protection have been in touch to say that in the case of staff members, who have been offered a return to work, and who have refused that offer;

The Department will contact and investigate each case fully to ensure that only those who meet the qualifying conditions for PUP remain in payment.

Department of Social Protection

Please be advised: Any employer who has difficulty in attracting the workers back to the workplace, or suspects that someone is mis-claiming welfare income support can contact the Department at c19employerreports@welfare.ie The Department will be happy to review cases where these complaints arise. Employers can be assured that officials in the Department will follow up on these notifications.

ISME – The independent business association for Irish SMEs have issued the following blog post back on May 6th. The Content of which is particularly relevant and we believe it will be of help to our members as you address these difficult situations.

ISME BLOG POST: Help if you have staff on the PUP who are reluctant to return to work

May 6, 2021

By Ciara Whooley

Thankfully many business now have a clearer view of when they will be able to reopen for business. This will be a very busy period as many employers are reopening or scaling up their services.

Our previous experience is that this can give rise to enquiries about how to manage situations where staff, who are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, are reluctant to return to work. It may be related to fear of entering into new restrictions, or for caring or any other reasons. These cases are rare and most people are very happy to return to work.

To help you and your employees over the coming period, the following notes might be useful:

  • The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via www.MyWelfare.ie. Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. The payment period of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is Friday to Thursday. Where a worker has at least one qualifying day of work in the period Friday to Thursday, they will receive full payment for that week. A person who closes their claim to return to work on any day other than Friday (the first day in the week) will receive payment for the full PUP entitlement week. And remember, any period of paid holidays is considered to be a period of insurable employment in the same way as if the employee was in work.
  • Any employer who has difficulty in attracting the workers back to the workplace, or suspects that someone is mis-claiming welfare income support can contact the Department at c19employerreports@welfare.ie; the Department will be happy to review cases where these complaints arise.
  • If an employer is seeking assistance in recruiting for vacant positions, the Employer Relations team will be happy to help; please email employer@welfare.ie to set out your requirements and they will be happy to help. This note (link here) sets out some of recruitment available to employers who are looking to recruit for roles in their business.
  • You can also publish your vacancies to www.jobsireland.ie. When you register you can post your job at no charge, access the website 24/7 and get information on financial supports and accessibility supports and grants and also access the Irish and European network of public employment services to identify the talent you need for your business. See more at JobsIreland.ie – YouTube

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