Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Code
Eric Byrne (Dublin South Central, Labour)
Question 364: To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will confirm that persons engaged and employed as school wardens will be automatically paid jobseeker’s allowance during the holiday periods, mid-term breaks, Easter, summer and Christmas; her view on whether the time taken to process these payments is unfair; if she will endeavour to ensure that the system of payments to school wardens will be improved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9503/12]
Joan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
My Department is committed to delivering the best possible service to its clients and in this regard all operational procedures are subject to continuous business process improvement supported by modern technology.
Under social welfare legislation it is not possible to automatically award job-seeker claims to educational workers in the circumstances you describe. In the past, this has led to difficulty in dealing with the large numbers of educational sector workers making claims during the mid-term, Easter and summer breaks. In order to deal with this volume of claims in a more efficient manner, a new system has been introduced whereby a jobseeker’s application form is automatically issued to these workers, including school wardens, in advance of the short breaks thereby removing the need for these clients to call into the office. These clients are now only required to attend at a social welfare local office in person once per year during the summer break. This initiative delivers an enhanced service to clients and allows resources to be better utilised.