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Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 192. Mr. Perry Information on John Perry Zoom on John Perry  asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan  if her attention has been drawn to concerns raised by a person (details supplied) in County Sligo; if their employment will be re-instated in view of the circumstances outlined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18695/02]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan The person referred to by the Deputy is a clerical officer who is currently on a career break from the Sligo offices of my Department. He has indicated that he wishes to return to work now that his 12 month career break finished at the beginning of October 2002.

The conditions under which civil servants avail of career breaks stipulate that a person wishing to return to work at the end of their career break can only be facilitated where there is a fillable vacancy in their location. However, the conditions do provide a guarantee of re-employment within twelve months of the expiry of the career break.

In this instance, there are currently no fillable vacancies in the Sligo offices of my Department to which the person concerned can be assigned. As an interim measure, he has been offered an alternative assignment to Dublin while awaiting placement in Sligo but has declined this offer.

A person whose career break has expired, may be entitled to unemployment payments for the period from the date of the expiry of the career break to the date on which they are requested to report for duty, provided they have indicated that they are available and willing to return to work. The overall position is that while some delay in returning to duty following career break may be expected in all cases where officers wish to resume duty, the Department tries to minimise the waiting period to the greatest degree possible.

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