Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Community Employment Schemes Supervisors
586. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding community employment pensions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50182/19]
CE Supervisors are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector. However, earlier this year, I undertook to engage with unions representing CE supervisors to address issues of concern to their members and this process is ongoing at present.
FÁS was not a party to the hearing in the Labour Court in 2008 but did provide a statement making clear that it was not the employer of the supervisors. As CE Supervisors are not public servants on the public payroll neither the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation (which then had responsibility for CE) nor the Department of Finance (pre Public Expenditure and Reform) were parties to the case when it was heard by the Labour Court.
The state is not responsible for funding pension arrangements for employees of private companies, even where the companies in question are reliant on State funding. Pension arrangements are a matter to be agreed between employees and their employers.
587. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the progress made following the meeting held with representatives of community employment supervisors on the provision of a pension in view of the Labour Court Recommendation over 11 years ago for an agreed pension to be put in place. [50193/19]
The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.
The programme is delivered through independent Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies. The contract agreement between the Department and the Community Employment Sponsoring Body establishes their role as an independent contractor, responsible for all purposes and all persons recruited by them
CE Supervisors are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector.
I am very aware of the valuable and dedicated service that Community Employment (CE) sponsor organisations provide in running CE Schemes across the country. CE supervisors, as employees of these organisations, are an integral part of that good work.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Department is currently engaging with representatives of CE supervisors to discuss issues arising following that 2008 Labour Court Recommendation and that all parties agreed that the detail of all discussions undertaken by the group should remain confidential until the process had completed. I would ask Deputies to respect these wishes and allow the talks to continue free from speculation.