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Goverment To Pay People Wages

 

Updated : May 22, 2009

Workers facing lay-offs could soon be subsidised with dole money so their employers can keep them on.

Social Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin has hinted at the move where the alternative would be lay-offs.

Proposals on the new form of "welfare-working" are now said to be at a delicate stage in discussions with the social partners.

But Ms Hanafin has indicated that the Government was considering moves to help employers keep staff on their books, even on three-day weeks, by using dole payments to plug the hole.

She made her comments at the annual conference of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) in Dublin.

"We are looking to see is there a mechanism by which we could use some of that money, where they are on a three-day week at the moment, to keep them in those jobs rather than have them losing them," she said.

"The Live Register had grown from 170,500 in January 2008 to more than double that level now," she said.

The proposed scheme would mean supporting the actual workplace rather than supporting people on welfare, she said.

"It's a complicated issue, but we are looking at starting it in the initial stages with about 300 places, and hope to be able to roll that out," she added.

"What we are trying to do is see could there be a mechanism to use money that would go to the person losing their job in order to keep them in that job.

"The major priority for the Government is to protect people who have jobs and to get people who have lost their jobs back to work," said the minister.

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