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Social Democrats TD and party spokesperson for Children, Jennifer Whitmore, has expressed concern that staff working in childcare, whose employers could be availing of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), are instead being forced to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Deputy Whitmore said:

“In a response to a parliamentary question, the Minister for Finance told me that 3,200 childcare workers availed of the PUP on January 11th. This is a very high figure and indicates that many workers are with employers who are not availing of the EWSS scheme. The Minister told me that 2,525 registered childcare service providers are signed up for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.

“Staff in our childcare sector need to be recognised for the work they do – and be paid and treated fairly. I am deeply concerned that many employers are not availing of the EWSS, and instead workers are applying for the PUP. This will also impact on their PRSI contributions and other entitlements such as holidays.

“In my view, this is evidence that we have a broken childcare model in Ireland. We need to move to a new model, where the State takes a central role. Government must have the capacity to coordinate the provision of childcare, like it would any other public service.”

January 22, 2021

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