Jobseeker payments will begin to be paid once again through the post office, the Minister for Social Protection has announced.
Heather Humphreys said the payments will once again be handled by An Post as Covid-19 restrictions have eased.
At the start of the pandemic the jobseekers payment was allowed be paid into a nominated bank account to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The Department of Social Protection said this was an “exceptional measure to help reduce the spread of the virus”.
The changes will apply initially to all new jobseeker applicants before being extended to other jobseekers over the coming months.
Minister Humphreys said reverting back to pre-pandemic arranges will also increase footfall at post offices around the county.
“I’m acutely conscious of the challenges that are facing the Post Office network,” she said.
“That’s why I’m delighted to announce the return of jobseeker payments to post offices, reflecting the arrangements that were in place pre-Pandemic.”
The Irish Postmasters Union has welcomed the announcement that jobseeker payments will return to the post office in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) General Secretary Ned O’Hara said, “This decision underlines the excellent working relationship between the Department of Social Protection and our members. Postmasters carry out 30 million Department of Social Protection transactions per year, paying out €6.7 billion into the local economy.
Minister Humphreys has shown great vision in recognising the availability of the post office network to deliver vital services to citizens and we need more of her colleagues to show this same support if the opportunity to regenerate communities hard hit by the pandemic is to be realised. The Government’s own policy document ‘Our Rural Future’ commits to government departments working to identify additional services that can be channelled through the post office network to our 1.7 million customers, and we are ready to engage with them.”