Press Release

SIPTU welcomes payment to be made to redundant workers laid off due to pandemic

Date Released: 21 September 2021

SIPTU representatives have welcomed the announcement, today (Tuesday, 21st September), that the Government will make a special payment to workers made redundant who lost reckonable service due to being laid off or put on short-time work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “An order, Section 12A, amending the  Redundancy Payments Act 1967, was first introduced as an emergency measure in March 2020. The order suspended a worker’s right to seek redundancy if they had been laid off or put on short-time work due to government restrictions during the pandemic. This order has been extended six times, with its provisions due to end on 30thSeptember 2021. 

“The order prevented workers from seeking redundancy from their employer. However, with its ending workers who are seeking or being made redundant would be penalised under the terms of the Redundancy Payments Act, which do not allow for a period of lay off, within the final three years before redundancy, as allowable as reckonable service for the purposes of the calculation of statutory redundancy.

“Thousands of SIPTU members working in the Services Division were laid off or put on short-time work during the pandemic. While a large majority have returned, or are returning, to full-time work, there are hundreds of SIPTU members who may face a redundancy situation at the end of September. These workers have been deeply concerned about the possible impact of their lay off or short-time working, during the pandemic, on the calculation of reckonable service in a redundancy situation.”

She added: “Since the introduction of the emergency amendment to the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 last year, SIPTU representatives have raised the issue of what impact it could have on the calculation of reckonable service in a redundancy situation with officials from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of Social Protection. 

“We welcome that the Government has heeded our members’ concerns and is to provide a special payment to workers, who face a redundancy situation, which will cover any losses in statutory redundancy entitlements due to periods of lay off or short-time work during the pandemic.”


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