Devil will be in the detail of Government’s Pathways to Work – ICTU

12 Jul 2021

back to work

Responding to the launch of the Government’s new Pathways to Work strategy, Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary Patricia King said: “While parts of the economy continue to reopen allowing workers back to work, unfortunately not all previous jobs will return and not all firms and sectors will recover at the same pace and to the same extent when restrictions are fully lifted.

“In these circumstances what Government must do is to give workers access to the services and skills they need to find new and decent jobs, and to reduce the risk of labour market scarring and entrenched long-term unemployment.”

“Congress will examine the details of the 83 actions unveiled today to ensure that they are in keeping with Government’s commitment to ‘build back better.’ Lessons learned from previous job-support measures, such as JobBridge,  that did next to nothing to meet the needs of and improve opportunities for job seekers and in effect offered employers the unpaid labour of these workers must not be repeated.”

Social Policy Officer Dr Laura Bambrick said: “The commitment to introduce a pay-related payment for unemployed workers is a positive development. The generosity of our Jobseeker’s Benefit is low, and the lowest compared to other rich EU countries where benefit payment rates based on a percentage of prior earnings is the norm to secure worker’s normal living standards during periods out of work. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment had to be created overnight because our flat-rate benefits don’t provide adequate income protection for working people. Congress welcomes the decision to make the temporary move to a payment that is more closely aligned to workers’ past earnings a permanent feature.”