Minister announces u-turn on welfare rules for jobless going to countries on green list

The Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has said they have to protect taxpayers' money after changes were made to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
Minister announces u-turn on welfare rules for jobless going to countries on green list

The Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said they will focus on retraining people for other jobs. File picture: Julien Behal

People travelling to green list countries will no longer have their Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP) stopped after a Government u-turn.

It comes after days of controversy about the payment being paused if people travel abroad.

People will still lose the payment if they travel to non-green list countries unless it is for essential reasons, like a bereavement.

Minister Humphreys confirmed the rules will change to reflect the general travel advice.

She said: "I have now asked my officials to amend the regulations so that people on Jobseekers who wish to travel to any of the countries on the green list can do so and continue to receive their payment.

"For countries not on the green list, persons can travel for essential reasons only."

The Social Protection Minister earlier said a common-sense approach will be taken towards keeping people on the emergency Covid-19 payment.

People receiving the payment must now be genuinely looking for work under new laws passed through the Dáil last night.

Up to 2,000 people going abroad had the payment stopped recently.

The requirement has presented problems for people in industries that have been shut down by Government rules, like pubs and aviation.

Minister Humphreys outlined the approach to be taken on keeping those people on payments.

Ms Humphreys said: "Perhaps if they work in a pub, and pubs will be hopefully open by the 10th of August, that they'll get that opportunity.

"But we have to be realistic here too because there are some jobs that are not going to come back and there is no point in waiting for the never ever.

"It's best that we help people to re-skill, to re-train, and look at other jobs that they can take up."

The Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has said the Government has to protect taxpayers' money after changes were made to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Minister O’Brien said they are focusing on people leaving Ireland permanently.

He said: "The pandemic payment will not be stopped for anyone who has to travel abroad for emergency reasons of family reasons or anything like that. That's been clarified already.

"Secondly, the reality of the matter is the focus on these checks has actually been people who are leaving Ireland for good."

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up