The Labour Court recommended in July 2008 (LCR19293) that an agreed pension scheme should be introduced for Community Employment (CE) scheme supervisors and assistant supervisors, and that such a scheme should be adequately funded by FÁS. Notwithstanding the positions of the Department (who now has responsibility for CE) in rejecting that liability for these costs to be met from public funds, this matter has been the subject of discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the unions representing CE supervisors. In the event that funding was required from the Department of Social Protection, the implementation of the claim is not considered sustainable in light of the current and ongoing fiscal environment and the requirement to contain and reduce public expenditure. The costs of the introduction of any scheme are likely to be of the order of €3m per annum with retrospective costs of the order of at least €30m.
It should also note that the Department of Social Protection is not the employer of CE supervisors and such employees are not public servants. Neither was FÁS or the Department of Social Protection a party to the Labour Court dispute on this matter. The responsibilities of the sponsoring organisations and the individuals concerned must also be recognised when considering pension provision arrangements.