Saturday 08 August 2020

Over half the requests for Covid-19 help for flexible contract workers have failed

Cafe workers have been hard hit. Photo: Brandon Hartley

Over half the requests for Covid-19 financial help made by people on flexible contracts, staffing agency workers and people on call-out contracts have been refused, according to new figures from administering agency UWV.

In total, the agency has received 23,000 requests for grants of up to €1,650 from people who were not entitled to unemployment or welfare benefits but who lost work because of the coronavirus epidemic.

However, over half the requests were dismissed because they failed to meet the conditions. These include a drop in income of at least 50%, a pre-pandemic income in February of at least €400 and earnings of no more than €550 in April.

More than 70% of the successful applicants were under the age of 27 and worked in the hospitality industry, the UWV said.

Applications for help under the Tofa scheme closed on Sunday.

The scheme was developed because some workers, often students and people on staffing agency contracts, are not able to claim financial support via the various other schemes and were not entitled to social security either.

Tens of thousands of people – particularly people on temporary or zero hours contracts – are thought to have been left with no income because they are not covered by the existing rulings.

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