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On the pandemic unemployment payment? The Taoiseach says you should be seeking work

If people can seek alternative work, they should seek it, says Micheál Martin.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said those in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) should be seeking work.

His comments come after Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said earlier today that “if you find that you’re going to be permanently unemployed because your job isn’t there, then you should be looking for work”. 

When asked specifically about the apparent change in criteria of actively seeking work being added to the department’s website yesterday evening, the Taoiseach said:

“I will be seeking a further report on that.”

The apparent change to the criteria was made following Tánaiste Leo Varadkar stating yesterday that it was his understanding that in order to receive the PUP you have to be “seeking work and resident in Ireland and not travelling abroad”.

Martin said the principle that those in receipt of welfare payments seeking work is not new.

When asked about certain sectors, such as publicans and entertainers such as DJs, essentially being furloughed from their jobs due the government restrictions, he acknowledged that some sectors have been “closed down” and are “awaiting reopening”.

However, he said those people should look for work while they wait for their old jobs to come back online. 

“Obviously if people can seek alternative employment, they should seek it,” he said.

Martin stated that people are “obliged” to seek work while on welfare, adding that lots of people are coming off the PUP.

“Many are coming off the PUP and getting alternative work,” he said, adding that the government aims to create “alternative work” so as to “re-orientate the economy”.

The Taoiseach said he wants people on the PUP to seek those jobs out.

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Martin said the reopening of pubs in Phase Four is something that is under consideration.

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