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Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 279.  Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  the position regarding a community employment scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [23716/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Community Employment (CE) Programme is a labour market intervention designed to assist the long term unemployed return to the work force. Persons eligible to apply should be aged 25-65 years who are unemployed [403]for over 12 months and who are currently in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection:

Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB).

Jobseeker’s Assistance (JA).

One-Parent Family payment (OFP).

Widows/Widowers/Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension.

Widows/Widowers/Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non Contributory) Pension.

Deserted Wife’s Benefit (DWB).

Farm Assist (FA).

To be eligible to participate on a community employment scheme, it is mandatory that all participants are currently in receipt of one of the above listed payments on their expected CE start date for a period of one year.

Furthermore, the following applies:

Persons availing of the Tús, Springboard or JobBridge programmes, or receiving Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) may not simultaneously participate on Community Employment (CE).

Persons engaged on the Tús, Springboard or JobBridge programmes, or receiving Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) may not avail of spousal swap option for CE (to allow their spouse on CE) for the duration of their own programme.

Time spent on Tús, Springboard, JobBridge or Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) will not count towards the qualifying period for eligibility to CE.

The person concerned was in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit from 6th February 2010 to 1st October 2010, a total of 33 weeks. To be eligible for CE, she would have to be currently in receipt of one of the payments listed above, for a total of 52 consecutive weeks. Time spent on the VTOS programme does not count as part of this qualifying period.

As she is currently not in receipt of any of the above payments, she does not meet the eligibility criteria to be considered for a place on a Community Employment Scheme.

 280.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  the position regarding a community employment scheme placement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny [23734/12]

 283.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be allowed to complete their time on the community employment scheme placement they were granted in view of the fact that it was a departmental error relative to their qualification for the scheme; and if she will acknowledge the expectation created by the placement and agree to allowing them the full term. [23777/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I propose to take Questions Nos. 280 and 283 together.

The eligibility criteria for a person to complete one year on community employment requires the person to be over 25 years and in receipt of a qualifying payment from the Department of Social Protection for 52 continuous weeks prior to commencement.

[404]The eligibility criteria for a person to complete in excess of one year on community employment requires that a person be in receipt of a qualifying payment and or participation on community employment for not less than 156 weeks.

A person in receipt of a disability payment from the Department of Social Protection is required to be in receipt of a qualifying payment for a minimum of 26 weeks.

This person was in receipt of a payment from the Department for 79 continuous weeks prior to commencement on the programme and is thus only eligible for 52 weeks and participation will terminate in October 2012.

There was no Departmental error in this case as the employer of this person was made fully aware of the eligibility of the person prior to their commencement on the scheme.

The person concerned should contact their local employment service office, in October 2012 to discuss other options that may be available to them.


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