Written Answers. - Job-Sharing Scheme.

Liam Aylward

Question:

58 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of the recent announcement by the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Employment to introduce a radical plan to give the jobless a role in the public service, he would consider applications from former civil servants under this plan, particularly women who retired to stay at home and raise their children, and who are now available to return to the work-force. [3935/97]

The Government recently approved a number of changes to the general framework of the public service job-sharing and career break schemes. The practical application of the new arrangements are to be worked out and discussed with the appropriate trade unions for each of the various public service organisations. At this early stage, it is not possible to say on what date the amendments to the schemes will come into effect in the Civil Service.

In general, entry to the Civil Service is by way of open competitions held by the Civil Service Commission; competitions are advertised in the daily papers from time to time. Positions advertised by the Civil Service Commission are open to all who meet the eligibility requirements, including former civil servants.

The Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Act, 1996, repealed the provision in the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1956, which provided for the reinstatement to their former positions of women who resigned from the Civil Service for marriage-related reasons and who fulfilled specific criteria. To alleviate the consequences of the repeal of the reinstatement scheme, the next two series of clerical assistant and executive officer competitions will include provision for special sub-panels which will be composed solely of former civil servants but will not differentiate on grounds of gender or marital status. It is envisaged that competitions for appointments as executive officer and clerical assistant will be advertised this year.