Cross border workers laid off will not be able to claim unemployment benefits here
Thousands of people from the North who are employed in the Republic of Ireland and vice versa will be unable to claim unemployment benefits in the country they work in if they have been laid off due to Covid-19.
Under the Covid-19 Cross Border Frontier Works directive published today by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, if a frontier worker is made wholly or fully unemployed they should claim unemployment benefits from the country where they are resident.
According to the article, a cross border or frontier worker is defined as any employed or self-employed person who works in one jurisdiction and lives in another in which he or she returns as a rule daily or at least once a week.
The move is set to inconvenience many in border areas such as Dundalk where thousands travel to from the North for work each day. According to Dundalk Chamber of Commerce PRO Paddy Malone last week, an estimated 3,000 people travel from Newry to Dundalk alone for work purposes each day.
One woman impacted who lives in the North but who had worked in Dundalk up until recently hit out at the decision.
She said: “The government released a statement today saying if you work in the south but live in the north you can’t claim any benefits from the south! You have to go get them from the north!
“I rang the government office and they basically said not our problem go get it from the north? Maybe I’m wrong but I’ve always worked in Dundalk, paid all my taxes in the south and never ever claimed benefits but when I need them most they close the door on me!”