Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
618. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 52 of 19 February 2019, if evidence of the financial costs referred to with respect to severing the State's contract with organisations operating the JobPath programme will be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9432/19]
The JobPath contract does contain provisions for early termination, notwithstanding any dispute which may arise and which is covered elsewhere in the contract. Written notice must be served on the contractor 6 months in advance of a termination. The amount of compensation to be paid to the service providers is stipulated in the contract, however the amount of compensation, having been separately negotiated with each contractor, is commercially sensitive. To publish same would place the State at a disadvantage both in terms of the contracts now in place and any future procurement that may be undertaken. In addition to the financial liability, termination of the contract would have a significant impact on the 600 employees of the contractors, their sub-contractors and suppliers.
As the Deputy will be aware the referral phase of the JobPath contract, which commenced in 2015, is due to come to an end this year. Clients engaged with the service at this point will continue to receive the service for up to 12 months and may receive 'in-work' support for a further 12 months should they require it.
It is worth noting that the results of an econometric evaluation of the service, which my Department will publish shortly, further indicate that the outcomes for participating jobseekers, both in terms of employment and earnings, are better than those of non-participants.
I am therefore satisfied that the proper course of action is to continue with the service in order to support long term unemployed jobseekers, and I do not intend to break contractual commitments entered into by my Department.