Paschal Donohoe

Plans To Ensure Wage Subsidy Scheme To Include New Mothers In Work

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The government will tomorrow consider plans to end an anomaly that means women on maternity leave can’t get access to the COVID wage subsidy scheme.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says he’ll bring potential solutions to tomorrow’s cabinet meeting.

Under the current wage subsidy scheme women returning to work from maternity leave are being excluded because they don’t have payslips from January and February to present.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil he intends to try to fix that:

“In relation to the issue raised by many regarding those who are on maternity leave looking to go back to work and then access the wage subsidy scheme I want to confirm to the House that I intend to bring a proposal to Cabinet tomorrow to resolve that issue.”

He added: “It was absolutely my intention to ensure that all were treated equally in… the wage subsidy scheme”.

Mr Donohoe said this includes mothers returning to work after maternity leave.He said there had been difficulties in how the TWSS legislation was drafted.

Mr Donohoe said: “I heard what all deputies said in the House here last week and myself and the Revenue Commissioners have been working on this issue over the last fortnight.

“I believe we can find a way to ensure that mothers who were on the maternity leave scheme who were coming back to work can be treated equally to anyone else who’s already on or planning to be on the wage subsidy scheme.”

The Dáil is approving 6.8 billion euro in additional spending for the Department of Social Protection this evening.

The Department has burned through its budget and would have run out of money next week if not for the intervention.

While this will allow the COVID emergency payments to continue, we still don’t know how long they’ll last.

Other Departments such as health will also need a further injection of cash, potentially as early as next month: