independent

Saturday 17 November 2018

Department move to support TAFC staff

Padlocked gates at the Authentic Food Company in Dundalk last week.
Padlocked gates at the Authentic Food Company in Dundalk last week.

Olivia Ryan

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection took the unusual step of issuing a statement on the proposed liquidation of The Authentic Food Company in Dundalk last week.

The department face calls to respond quickly to the situation where up to 180 workers found themselves without work, although still technically employed, after the company confirmed the closure of the plant in Dundalk.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the department explained: 'Immediately upon hearing of the proposed liquidation, 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 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.' The spokesperson explained that information packs were distributed to the employees, and assistance was offered in relation to Public Services Card registration.

Minister Regina 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 and training.'

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