The Authentic Food Company

Dept of EA and Social Protection release statement on The Authentic Food Company in Dundalk

Department’s response plan agreed over the weekend and put in place first thing on Monday morning

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Dept of EA and Social Protection responds to proposed liquidation of The Authentic Food Company Dundalk plant

Dept of EA and Social Protection responds to proposed liquidation of The Authentic Food Company Dundalk plant

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has just released a statement on the proposed liquidation of The Authentic Food Company in Dundalk.

In it the department says that its response plan was agreed over the weekend and put in place first thing on Monday morning.

Affected employees will receive dedicated advice and support from the Department. Claims for Social Welfare payments will be decided immediately.

The full statement is below:

Immediately upon hearing of the proposed liquidation late last week (Friday 19 October), the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s team from Dundalk Intreo Centre put in place an emergency response plan. 

The first priority for the Department is to ensure that the affected employees quickly receive access to all income supports that may be available to them. In parallel, the Department will provide support to them in relation to accessing new job opportunities, or where required, accessing appropriate education and training and development options.

The Department’s local team met employees at the plant on Monday morning, and later in the afternoon in the Ballymascanlon Hotel to outline the arrangements that have been put in place to expedite payments and to inform them of the other supports available. 

Information packs were distributed to the employees, and assistance was offered in relation to Public Services Card registration.

Commenting on the company closure and the need to support staff Minister Doherty said:

“We are committed to assisting all of the staff involved in every way we possibly can.  My Department will ensure it provides any redundancy, insolvency and jobseeker payments to which affected employees may be entitled in a timely manner, and will proactively help them to access opportunities available for employment.”

In addition, the Department will provide support in relation to returning to work, and accessing appropriate education, training and development options.

An information and recruitment event will be held in the in the Crowne Plaza Dundalk from 10am to 1pm on Thursday 1 November 2018. The event will be supported by other key service providers such as the Education and Training Board, Dundalk Institute of Technology, National Learning Network, Local Enterprise Office, Local Employment Service, Jobs Club, Revenue, Money Advice and Budgeting Service, and Citizens Information Service.

Local employers with job vacancies have already committed to attend. Enterprise Ireland and IDA will also support the drive to find alternative employment for the workforce.

In relation to concerns about redundancy payments, it is the responsibility of the employer in the first instance to pay statutory redundancy and other wage related entitlements to eligible employees.

However, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a safety net for employees in situations where the employer has become insolvent and the company is to be liquidated. 

A liquidator may seek, on behalf of employees, payment from the Redundancy Payments Scheme in respect of statutory redundancy and from the Insolvency Payments Scheme in respect of wage-related entitlements.

The liquidator is responsible for submitting all such claims to the Department.

In order to qualify for a statutory redundancy payment, an employee must have at least two years continuous service, be in employment which is insurable under the Social Welfare Acts and be over the age of 16.

Entitlements covered under the Insolvency Payments Scheme are arrears of wages, holiday pay, sick pay, payment in lieu of minimum notice and certain pension contributions. 

Payments are calculated by reference to an employee’s wages and are subject to a limit of €600 per week; and arrears of wages, sick pay, holiday pay and minimum notice are limited to 8 weeks.