Additional flexibility for self-employed workers in Donegal on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment

New €960 threshold for self-employed PUP recipients takes effect immediately

Additional flexibility for self-employed workers on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, TD

Self-employed Donegal people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) who are looking to restart their business can now earn up to €960 over an eight week period, while retaining their full PUP entitlement, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, TD has announced.

This is an increase from the €480 previously allowed over a four week period and comes following engagement with the Arts sector, including the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI), as well other self-employed sectors.

This new measure allows a self-employed person to take on intermittent jobs or “one-off gigs” without losing their entitlement to PUP.

The measure takes effect immediately.

There is no formal application process and a self-employed person simply needs to inform the department if they earn over €960 in any eight week period.

Announcing the extension during the Second Stage debate on the Social Welfare Bill, Minister Humphreys said she hopes this measure will be “warmly welcomed by our taxi drivers, musicians, electricians, plumbers and other self-employed workers across the country”.

“I don’t want to see people turning down work for fear that it might impact their Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

“I am happy to make this change and I want to acknowledge the constructive engagement from the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland in relation to this matter and also my colleagues on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development.

“We all hope with the vaccine coming on stream that we will get back to some level of normality in 2021 and we want to see our musicians and artists back performing as much as possible.

“In the meantime this will provide them with greater flexibility to take up occasional gigs while knowing that the safety net of the PUP is still there for them.

“That’s important because when you’re a musician, you could have a gig one week and then maybe nothing for the next four weeks so I hope this change to €960 will be of particular help to our workers in the arts and entertainment sector," she said.

The minister added that the change will also increase the flexibility and make life a little easier for our taxi drivers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, beauticians and other self-employed workers across the country.

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