To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason for the delays in processing applications for State redundancy payments; the steps being taken to expedite the processing of these claims; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 15th February, 2012.
R E P L Y
The purpose of the Redundancy Payments Scheme is to compensate workers, under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2011, for the loss of their jobs by reason of redundancy.
Under the Redundancy Payments Acts an eligible employee is entitled to two weeks statutory redundancy payment for every year of service, plus a bonus week. Compensation is based on the worker’s length of reckonable service and reckonable weekly remuneration, subject to a ceiling of €600 per week. Employees must have at least two years’ service to be eligible for a redundancy payment. There are two types of redundancy payments – rebates to employers and lump sums paid directly to employees, where an employer refuses, or is unable to pay lump sums. Both rebate and lump sum payments are paid from the Social Insurance Fund (SIF).
It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all eligible employees. An employer who pays statutory redundancy payments to employees is then entitled to a rebate from the State of a percentage of the relevant amount.
There is currently a backlog of approximately 29,000 statutory redundancy claims on hand.
There are two processing streams for redundancy claims. A new computerised system was introduced in October 2011 and online claims submitted correctly through this system may be processed, on average, within six to eight weeks. Manual claims submitted since October 2011 are also processed as part of this stream but take longer to process due to the need to enter the manual claims onto the new system.
Claims submitted prior to the introduction of this new system require more clerical intervention and will take longer to process and are part of a second processing stream. The Department is currently processing claims in this category which were received in late May/early June 2011.