Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Community Employment Schemes

Photo of Jackie CahillJackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail)
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607. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 630, 631, 632 and 633 of 22 March 2022, if the administrative arrangements to implement the community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors pension scheme, as agreed with unions, have been finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32654/22]

Photo of Duncan SmithDuncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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614. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the up-to-date position with proposed payment of a pension for community employment supervisors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32785/22]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 607 and 614 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, Community Employment (CE) supervisors and CE assistant supervisors sought, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme.

At the outset, I wish to acknowledge the valuable and dedicated service that CE supervisors and assistant supervisors provide in running CE schemes in delivering local based community services while providing a valuable training and development opportunity to the long-term unemployed and to those often furthest removed from the labour market.

I am pleased that an agreement was reached between the Department of Social Protection and unions representing CE supervisors and assistant supervisors that resolves this long-standing issue through the payment of a once off ex-gratia payment to eligible CE supervisors and assistant supervisors.  On 23 December 2021, both unions involved confirmed acceptance of this settlement which will benefit over 2,200 people employed by CE schemes going back to 2008.  It is estimated to have a total cost of over €24 million.

Under the terms of this settlement, on reaching retirement age, eligible CE supervisors and assistant supervisors will receive a once off ex-gratia payment in respect of time employed by CE schemes since 2008.  People who retired since 2008 and who have reached retirement age will be able to apply for payments immediately when the scheme is in place.  The ex-gratia payment provides for 2 week’s pay per year of service or part thereof, in the qualifying period.  The calculation will be based on the salary point of the CE supervisor or assistant supervisor on the date of retirement, subject to a cap of €600 per week.

The qualifying period for the scheme is from 1 July 2008 to 31 December 2023 and will apply to all periods of employment as a CE supervisor or assistant supervisor during that period.

The Department of Social Protection is currently finalising the administrative arrangements to implement the agreed settlement with a view to starting to issue payments to qualified CE supervisors and assistant supervisors by the end of July.  The Department will be in contact with those who are eligible to immediately apply for this payment in the coming weeks.  

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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