Supermacs CEO Pat McDonagh today said that claiming the government's Covid-19 unemployment benefit of €350 per week for part time workers is akin to winning the lottery while being interviewed on RTÉ radio.
McDonagh, whose company made $23.7 million in profit last year, was speaking on the 'Today' programme with Sarah McInerney, when he made the claim.
McDonagh called for a review of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and told the story of a fictional mother and a son who were both Supermac's employees. The mother was a fulltime staff member and the son worked one shift per week. McDonagh said the mother and son shouldn't be able to claim the same amount in unemployment benefit. He said the mother in this situation should receive more money but the son should make less money.
"There's no incentive for him to come back to work. He's on a winner. He's won the lotto."
McDonagh clarified his statement to say that perhaps this part-time worker was winning a 'GAA lotto'.
McInerney asked McDonagh if he thought paying his staff more than €350 per week might incentivise them to return to work.
Those who claim the Pandemic Unemployment Benefit are entitled to claim €350 per week. The base jackpot for an Irish lotto draw is €2 million.
Over 500,000 people in this country are currently availing of the Pandemic Unemployment Benefit.
Yesterday, Leo Varadkar said the unemployment scheme would be extended beyond its current deadline of 8 June.
Working conditions at Supermac's have been under scrutiny of late, with many people miffed that the company extracts €1.60 from an employee's daily pay cheque for coffee and food, regardless of whether it is consumed.
30% of Supermacs employees work part time.
Listen to the entire segment here, starting around 1h36min