Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has expressed his shock at the announcement from HP Inc, and confirmed that officials in his Department are available to brief staff on State supports and re-training options.
Staff from the Department’s Intreo service have contacted Hewlett Packard to offer briefing sessions on site, giving information about employment options, re-training supports, redundancy, and welfare. The Department is also liaising with the Money Advice & Budgeting Service to ensure that expert financial advice is available.
Minister Varadkar said: “This is a very distressing time for employees at who have given so much to the company. My thoughts and those of my Government colleagues are with all the staff affected. The Department of Social Protection will do all it can to assist employees, including one-on-one briefing sessions on welfare and employment supports. The Department is liaising with MABS so that its officials are on hand to offer financial advice and support, and also with the Department of Enterprise and the Department of Education & Skills to ensure that all avenues are explored for every staff member. Our goal is to ensure that all staff affected can move smoothly into new employment or training.
“I want to assure everyone affected that the Department of Social Protection officials are determined to help them to get through this difficult period, and identify the supports they need to get back into employment again as quickly as possible.”
In order to simplify matters for affected staff, the Department has identified a single Intreo Centre at Ballyfermot Intreo Centre to deal specifically with their cases. Officials will advise employees on the Intreo process, which provides a single point of contact for employment and income supports. This includes advice on:
• redundancy entitlements;
• work and training options;
• jobseekers payments;
• and rent supplement.
Some staff may wish to consider self-employment through schemes such as the Short Term Enterprise Allowance. Officials can also deal with queries on how to maintain social insurance for pension entitlements.