Written answers

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Department of Social Protection

Redundancy Payments

9:00 pm

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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Question 314: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons currently waiting for statutory redundancy applications to be processed; the average time for processing such applications; the number of staff involved in processing these applications; if any mechanism exists for fast-tracking these applications; if she will provide a breakdown of new applications by month from January 2011 to January 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7789/12]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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Question 351: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the procedure for the processing of redundancy applications; if applications are being processed as they are being received; the reason it appears that persons who have sought redundancy have not been paid but others who applied at a later date have received payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8245/12]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 314 and 351 together.

The purpose of the Redundancy Payments Scheme is to compensate workers, under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007, for the loss of their jobs by reason of redundancy. Under the Redundancy Payments Acts an eligible employee is entitled to two weeks statutory redundancy payment for every year of service, plus a bonus week. Compensation is based on the worker’s length of reckonable service and reckonable weekly remuneration, subject to a ceiling of €600 per week. Employees must have at least two years’ service to be eligible for a redundancy payment. There are two types of redundancy payments - rebates to employers and lump sums paid directly to employees, where an employer refuses, or is unable to pay lump sums. Both rebate and lump sum payments are paid from the Social Insurance Fund (SIF).

It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all eligible employees. An employer who pays statutory redundancy payments to employees is then entitled to a rebate from the State of a percentage of the relevant amount.

There is currently a backlog of approximately 29,000 statutory redundancy claims on hand.

There are two processing streams for redundancy claims. A new computerised system was introduced in October 2011 and online claims submitted correctly through this system may be processed, on average, within six to eight weeks. Manual claims submitted since October 2011 are also processed as part of this stream but take longer to process due to the need to enter the manual claims onto the new system.

Claims submitted prior to the introduction of this new system require more clerical intervention and will take longer to process and are part of a second processing stream. The Department is currently processing claims in this category which were received in late May/early June 2011.

There are currently 24 staff involved in processing applications, or in full-time equivalent terms, 22.3 staff.

Applications received for the period January 2011 to January 2012 are as follows:

Jan 2011Feb 2011Mar 2011Apr 2011May 2011Jun 2011Jul 2011Aug 2011Sep 2011Oct 2011Nov 2011Dec 2011Jan 2012
4,8463,0905,3503,7384,1033,6704,7123,8273,3672,2653,9696,8504,774

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