Recipients of jobseekers’ payments will soon have to attend a post office again in order to collect them, under plans announced by the Minister for Social Protection.
In 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, recipients were given the option of having the payments made electronically directly into their bank accounts.
This was to try to reduce the risk posed by people gathering in person at post offices, particularly as the number of those in receipt of such payments soared.
However, with Covid-19 restrictions easing, the Government has decided to revert back to the old system.
The change is also aimed at boosting footfall as post offices and reducing social welfare fraud.
Initially, the move will apply to all new job seekers from next month, but over the following months it will also be extended to all those getting the payments.
“I’m acutely conscious of the challenges that are facing the Post Office network,” said Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.
“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 development has been welcomed by both An Post and the Irish Postmasters’ Union, both of which had been calling for the change.
“It also offers a welcome return to normality for Postmasters and post office customers,” said Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post.