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Cafe owners looking forward to return of office workers but say PUP is a barrier to getting staff

Cafe owners hoping their business will bounce back when office workers return to the city say finding staff to serve them is a headache because the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a disincentive to getting a job.

he situation has left many independent café owners stuck between a rock and a hard place where on one hand they are wishing for more customers so they can start to pay debt they accumulated since the pandemic began, but on the other hand they are wondering how they will handle the workload of extra customers when they cannot find staff to serve them.

“The top PUP rate is €350 a week. That’s huge for transient student workers and I do know people who’ve just decided to stay at home, take the payment, and not go to work,” said Carol Treacy, owner of the Petit Café on Kildare Street, opposite the gates to Leinster House in Dublin.

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