- 04 Aug 20
The clarification follows a meeting with the Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland
Minister for Protection, Heather Humphreys, who was formerly in charge of the Arts, has clarified the "re-skill, retrain" comments that have so upset musicians over the past couple of days.
Prior to a meeting with Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland this afternoon, her office issued this statement, which was followed by a tweet (see below) confirming that artists and musicians on Pandemic Unemployment Payment do not have to seek alternative employment at present.
Minister Humphreys is deeply conscious of the impact the Covid-19 Pandemic has had on those in the entertainment and music industry.
The statement in full reads:
"This afternoon, she will hold a conference call with the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) in order to listen to the concerns of their members.
"However, it should be stressed that the Department of Social Protection has always taken a practical approach in allowing people who are temporarily laid-off the time needed to return to their former employment.
"In particular special arrangements are already in place to support people in the arts sector, including the performing arts, to remain in that sector and not seek alternative employment while still availing of jobseeker payments.
"Where restrictions are still having an impact, for example in our pubs, arts and entertainment sectors, obviously we want people in those sectors to be able to return to their jobs once restrictions have eased.
"Workers who remain temporarily laid off are therefore not required to meet the Genuinely Seeking Work requirement for work in other sectors.
"The focus for the Department will, as always, be on supporting those who have been permanently laid off and who now need to look for new job opportunities.
It is these individuals that the Department will support through a range of measures such as access to education and training courses, work experience opportunities and financial supports to start their own business with the goal of helping these individuals secure employment."
Good to speak to the Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland @meaiireland & clarify the misinformation of recent days. Artists & musicians who are temporarily out of work due to #COVID19 do NOT need to seek employment elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/AyUD5lqJvA
— Heather Humphreys (@HHumphreysFG) August 4, 2020
This hasn't satisfied Indiependence festival promoter and EPIC board member Shane Dunne who replies: "What about Sound Engineers? Promoters? Guitar Techs? Power & Electrical? Riggers? Safety Officers? Event Medical? Event Managers? Audio, Lights & Special Effects? Trucking? DJs? Or any of the hundreds of roles making up the 35,000 people employed in Live Entertainment here?"
Expect this one to run and run...