Some low paid retail workers better off claiming COVID-19 payments
New research confirms that some minimum wage earners would be significantly better off it they were to lose their jobs and claim the pandemic unemployment benefit.
The report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that low-paid part-time workers in the hospitality and retail sectors can receive up to 50 per cent more from the temporary payment than they would working.
On average, minimum wage employees in retail or accommodation and food work 23 hours per week, equating to a gross weekly wage of €232.30. However, those who have lost their job, may claim €350 per week, through the PUP payment, ESRI said.
The institute warned that as a result of receiving more from the payment some of those in receipt of the benefit “may be less willing to accept a job now than before the crisis”. Yet it notes that the payment is only a temporary measure, with expectations that it will be phased out shortly.