Unemployment Payments and Holidays - the Current Situation:
On July 2nd, 2020 we brought to people’s attention the existing Operational Guidelines for people on a Jobseeker’s Allowance and Benefit who were hoping to take a holiday, since then it has become clear that the Department has made significant changes, and that these will also apply to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Jobseekers and Holidays
The terms and conditions under which holidays have traditionally been permitted for Jobseeker's - inclusive of Jobseekers Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit and Jobseekers Benefit (Self-Employed) have been changed because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The following applies to Jobseekers who take holidays in:
· Green List countries
· Non-Green List countries
Holidays – Green List countries
Persons in receipt of Jobseeker’s payment are allowed to take holidays in any of the countries that have been listed on the Governments ‘Green List’ of travel destinations included as countries subject to 'normal precautions' for travel on the Department of Foreign Affairs' Travel Advice (see the following link) DFA: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/assistance-abroad/security-ratings/ Social Welfare: https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/
Holidays – Non-Green List countries
Persons in receipt of Jobseeker’s payment are not allowed to take holidays in any of the countries that have not been listed on the Governments ‘Green List’ of travel destinations and continue to qualify for a Jobseekers payment.
This means that the will not qualify for a Jobseekers payment for any such holiday period, irrespective of duration, and will not qualify for a Jobseekers payment for any self-guarantee / self-isolation period required on the persons return to Ireland
The INOU had understood that exceptions may be made for people travelling to ‘Non-Green List’ countries for urgent family reasons e.g. serious illness. However, cases will be assessed and treated on an individual case by case basis.
This would also further suggest that access to emergency Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payments, an emergency means test payment accessible where eligibility or entitlement to a payment is contested or under appeal, is not possible in such circumstances