Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Employment Support Services
I am glad to receive some clarification. I was not sure what the reason was for it, which is why I referred to another reason. If there is a State contract there and it was offered, has it been offered to any other service provider? The nearby EmployAbility in south Dublin or in north Dublin might be able, if resourced properly, to take up the services and perhaps employ some of the people who are working directly with these people, or take on the employers who place people who have availed of the EmployAbility service. Yes, I recognise the great work that Intreo case officers do, but this is a specialist line of work that requires specialist care.
That is why these contracts have been offered over the years to the EmployAbility West service. It is vital especially given that there are people who are in supported employment at the moment and need the services. What steps are being taken to prevent the service collapsing altogether with the loss of the expertise and the loss of support for those workers and the employers who have helped in ensuring that those who have a disability or those who suffer with mental health issues can be supported in returning to the workplace or starting in the workplace in the first instance?
Do the various sections in the Department of Social Protection talk to each other? This is a Department of Social Protection contract. It needs to ensure that the workers who are expecting to be made redundant on 31 December do not need to go to the Labour Court to get the redundancy to which they are entitled given their service and given that it will come from the Department. One section needs to talk to the other.