I propose to take Questions Nos. 306 and 320 together.
There are currently approximately 11,000 statutory redundancy claims on hand. These claims fall into different processing streams.
A new computerised system was introduced in October 2011. On-line claims submitted correctly through this system which were received in April 2012 are currently being processed. Manual claims submitted since October 2011 take longer to process due to the need to enter the information onto the new system. The Department is currently processing such claims received in January 2012.
Claims submitted prior to the introduction of the new system require more clerical intervention and so take longer to process. The Department has finalised the processing of the vast majority of redundancy lump sum claims in this category. Redundancy rebate claims in this category which were received in September 2011 are currently being processed.
With regard to claims received via the Employment Appeals Tribunal the Department is currently processing claims received in March 2012.
There are currently 32 staff involved in processing statutory redundancy applications or, in full-time equivalent terms, 30.5 staff. A number of months ago, the appointment of 10 temporary clerical officers was sanctioned specifically to target the processing of applications received prior to the implementation of the new system and it is expected that all of these claims will be finalised in the near future.