MORE JOB LOSSES PREDICTED IN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY AS A RESULT OF NEW RESTRICTIONS
More job losses in the industry are being forecast by the Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) following the fresh restrictions on bar and nightclub closing times announced by the Government today.
The new curfew is already leading to cancellation by venues of bands, DJs and other entertainers.
As a result of the new restrictions, the Association is calling on the Government to immediately reinstate the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and other necessary supports for the survival of the entertainment industry.
At the same time as rising case numbers and further restrictions being introduced, workers in the industry have been enduring the erosion of vital supports in recent weeks as the expected level of work has not materialised.
“We fully understand the need for measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, to protect the public and our health system, but it is vital that livelihoods are protected too,” said Matt McGranaghan, spokesperson for MEAI.
MEAI said the recent reopening plan by Arts Minister Catherine Martin has failed completely to acknowledge the need for continued support and the natural reopening characteristics of the sector.
Mixed messaging from the Government, including comments from the Minister for Health and the Chief Medical Office encouraging people to cut back on their socialising have all contributed to reduced attendees, lack of confidence and a torrent of cancelled gigs for the months ahead.
MEAI is conducting a survey among its members and already the statistics are a cause for concern. Over 75% of those surveyed have had gigs cancelled for November/December, while over 50% are only experiencing a quarter of their pre-Pandemic workload.
“We advised Minister Martin in August that a reopening plan had to find a balance between support and employment opportunities otherwise the effect on the industry would be worse than the previous 18 months of closure,” said Matt McGranaghan.
He added: “Almost 80% of those surveyed so far believe they will have to take up alternative employment and leave the industry in the coming months. Government must reinstate PUP in order to protect workers and this sector.”
The latest restrictions announced by Government, he said, were only going to make a bad situation worse.
Further cuts were implemented to the PUP today (Tues) which now means that approximately 50% of workers in the music and entertainment sector are no longer reviving PUP support. The Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland submitted a proposal in September to Minister Martin for an alternative scheme which would have given workers proper support and security as employment opportunities increased or decreased.
“Workers in this industry are now in the worst place they have been since March 2020,” said Mr McGranaghan. “We have heard the Minister repeatedly say that she is ‘acutely aware’ of the problems in the industry throughout this pandemic, but it is time now for acute action instead of acute awareness.”
Tony O’Brien MPRII
Tony O’Brien Communications
Media & Public Relations
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