Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Paul McGrath

Question:

38 Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will allow part-time workers to continue drawing a reduced rate of unemployment benefit based on their contributions. [6206/00]

The purpose of the unemployment benefit scheme is to provide support for people who have lost employment and are unable to find alternative employment. To qualify for payment, a person must, among other things, satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions and have suffered a substantial loss of employment.

A person who, having qualified for unemployment benefit, then takes up part-time work, may qualify for benefit in respect of the remaining days of the week provided he or she continues to be available for work on those days.

In such a case, where a part-time worker exhausts his or her entitlement to benefit, he or she may only requalify for payment if a substantial loss of employment is suffered.

Where the person fails to satisfy this condition, he or she may apply for unemployment assistance. There are no plans to change the conditions for entitlement to benefit in this regard.