Thursday, 15 October 2020
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Martin Kenny (Sligo-Leitrim, Sinn Fein)
The Tánaiste is aware of the situation with the Be On Call for Ireland programme through which an awful lot of people volunteered to go back to work and assist. It is something that everybody thought was a wonderful idea but, unfortunately, the experience of many people called up has been very negative. A healthcare professional in my constituency signed a contract for a number of months but received only intermittent work and since October has had no work. She has had to go onto jobseeker's allowance, which means she must send a letter to the company with the details of the odd day she works. She gets one or two days' work a week. Recently, she was offered two days' work in Donegal, which would have involved a 150 km round trip but she would have received no money for travel expenses. It has been a very negative experience and has created a lot of cynicism among many people who went forward for it. This is very regrettable. This issue needs to be dealt with and affirmative action needs to be taken to reassure these people they are valued by the health service and that they will be given proper contracts of employment.