Registered Employment Agreements

Questions (149)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

149. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the legislative measures he intends to take on registered employment agreements following on from the recent striking down elements of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 by the Supreme Court in McGowan and others v. The Labour Court, Ireland and the Attorney General; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32494/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

In the judgment delivered on 9 May last in McGowan and others v. The Labour Court, Ireland and the Attorney General, the Supreme Court held that Part III of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 was invalid having regard to Article 15.2.1 of the Constitution.

That Article provides, in effect, that the exclusive power to make laws is vested in the Oireachtas. The Supreme Court took the view that REAs are instruments having the status of laws made by private individuals. While the Constitution allows for the limited delegation of law making functions, the provisions of the 1946 Act went beyond what is permissible under the Constitution.

The effect of this decision is to invalidate the registration of employment agreements previously registered under Part III of the 1946 Act. This is an important issue for many employers and their employees, particularly in relation to rates of pay and tendering for contracts.

I intend as soon as possible to put in place legislation that will be fully informed by the Supreme Court judgment, but will introduce a revised framework to deal with these matters.

Birth Certificates

Questions (150)

Niall Collins

Question:

150. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection the procedures to be followed in order for a person aged 89 years, with no living family members, to register their birth as it has not been registered to date. [32325/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The provisions governing the registration of births in Ireland are set out in Part 3 of the Civil Registration Act, 2004. The standard procedures for registration of a birth require a qualified informant to give the required particulars to a registrar of births and to sign the register in the presence of the registrar.

In cases where no qualified informant exists or can be found, the Registrar General, acting under section 19 (5) of the Act, may authorise the registration of a birth, subject to provision of satisfactory evidence as to the facts of the birth.

In this case, the person concerned (or their nominated representative) should apply to the office of the Registrar General directly in writing and formally request that their birth is registered. Independent evidence of birth (such as a baptismal certificate or school records) should be enclosed with the application, if possible.

The application should be made to: Late Registrations, General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon.

State Pension (Non-Contributory) Eligibility

Questions (151)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

151. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare has an entitlement to a non-contributory State pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32310/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned applied for the State pension (non-contributory) on the 21st January 2013 and by decision dated 21st February, 2013 her application was refused as her means exceeded the statutory limit for receipt of that pension. The customer was advised of her right to appeal this decision.

Departmental Staff Numbers

Questions (152)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

152. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of staff of her Department who were assaulted by members of the public or other members of staff in the past year; the number of prosecutions taken against the perpetrators of these assaults; if she will provide details of supports available for staff who are victims of assault. [32315/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Since the 1st July 2012, there have been four reports of alleged physical assaults on members of staff of my Department, three by members of the public and one by another staff member. My Department’s Health and Safety Unit has recorded 103 other instances of alleged threats, assaults or abuse of staff members in the last year. The criminal prosecution of assaults is a matter for independent investigation by An Garda Síochána.

My Department takes seriously all events or incidents involving a threat to or an assault on a member of staff. The manager of any staff member involved in such incidents is asked to establish the immediate needs of that staff member having regard to the particular circumstances and situation including determining whether there is physical injury and seeking medical assistance and, in the case of threat or assault, reporting the issue to the Gardaí.

In these events, staff members are supported by local management and regional health and safety management, where appropriate. In addition, the Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is a support service available to all staff of my Department on a confidential basis. In the event of an assault or threat, the EAS would ordinarily be contacted by local management, regional management or Human Resources Division and asked to make contact with the individual(s) directly affected. Typically the Employee Assistance Officer would offer to visit the location and speak with and assure all of the staff concerned. Also, if required, outside counsellors may be engaged to assist the staff member.

Housing Issues

Questions (153)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

153. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will be made on an application for a relocation grant lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in issuing this payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32316/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Government has provided various types of support to people affected by the November 2009 flooding. Humanitarian Aid payments were made, both in the immediate aftermath of the flooding and subsequently to enable eligible households to resume living at their home.

Subject to certain conditions the Government also decided to provide support to a small number of families who are continuing to experience significant housing problems as a result of the November 2009 flooding and are considering the possibility of relocating rather than resuming living at their original home.

The legal agreement necessary for the purpose of this scheme was the subject of much detailed discussion and negotiations between this Department, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office (CSSO). The agreement was finalised and issued to the householders in December 2012

In view of the legal obligations attaching to the payment of moneys in respect of relocation assistance, householders were advised to seek legal advice prior to signing the agreements.

The required information to complete the processing of a relocation grant for the person named was received in the Department on 19 June 2013. Payment has issued to the person’s nominated financial institution on 28 June 2013.

Social Welfare Benefits Numbers

Questions (154)

John Lyons

Question:

154. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of casual or part-time employees in receipt of social welfare payments such as jobseeker's allowance, jobseeker's benefit and family income supplement, grouped by the 20 largest private sector employers and occupation type; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32340/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The jobseeker's benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative full-time employment. The Revised Estimates for my Department provide for expenditure on the jobseeker’s schemes of €3.66bn in 2013.

As of end May 2013 there were 87,943 casual or part-time workers on the schemes, of whom 33,354 were in receipt of jobseeker benefit and 54,589 were in receipt of jobseeker allowance. The family income supplement or FIS payment is designed to provide income for employees on low earnings with families. The FIS payment preserves the incentive to remain in employment in circumstances where the employee might only be marginally better off than if he/she was unemployed and claiming other social welfare payments. The Revised Estimates for my Department provide for expenditure on FIS of nearly €230 million in 2013. There are currently just under 40,600 families benefiting from the FIS scheme.

To qualify for payment of FIS a person must be engaged in full-time insurable employment which is expected to last for at least 3 months and be working for a minimum of 38 hours per fortnight or 19 hours per week.

Administrative data in relation to the number of hours worked by FIS recipients are not available. However, the table below lists the twenty private sector employers with the largest number of employees who are in receipt of FIS as at end June 2013.

It is recognised that a changing labour market has resulted in a move away from the more traditional work patterns, with a consequent increase in the number of persons employed for less than a full week. This is an important policy issue for my Department but any changes to the current criteria could have significant cost implications. For that reason my Department will consider this issue very carefully. In tandem the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare, which has already reported to me on a number of important policy areas, is now looking at the whole area of atypical work and I look forward to their recommendations on this issue.

The following tables set out the most recent analysis by my Department of private sector employers who employ persons also in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit and allowance, or family income supplement. The main employment types are in the retail and service sectors.

Casual Jobseeker’s Recipients by Private Sector Employers

-

Employees

Employer Name

1

679

Dunnes Stores

2

306

An Post

3

284

Tesco Irl Ltd

4

279

Next Retail Ltd

5

275

Flexsource Ltd

6

223

Noonan Services Grp Ltd

7

188

Primark T/A Pennys

8

153

Noel Recruitment Ltd

9

150

CP Healthcare Ltd

10

130

Lidl Irl

11

129

Argos Dist Ltd

12

123

Grafton Recruitment Ltd.

13

120

Lifestyle Sports |Ltd

14

116

Xtra Vision Ltd

15

115

ISS Irl. Ltd

16

111

Poundland Ltd

17

109

Heatons

18

107

TJX Irl.

19

105

G4S Secure Solutions Ltd

20

104

Noel Recruitment Ltd (Employer number other than at 8 above)

FIS Recipients by Private Sector Employers

-

Employees

Employer Name

1

849

Tesco Irl Ltd

2

542

Dunnes Stores

3

228

Noonan Services Group Ltd

4

186

ISS Irl Ltd

5

148

Campbell Catering Services

6

145

Primark T/A Pennys

7

135

Marks & Spencer Irl Ltd

8

93

Lidl Irl

9

93

Boots Retail Irl Ltd

10

91

Sodexo Irl Ltd

11

89

Superquinn Ltd

12

80

Dawn Meats Irl

13

80

Compass Catering Services Irl

14

79

Bank of Ireland

15

78

Kerry Grp Services Ltd

16

73

Ard Services Ltd (Statoil)

17

68

Nolan Transport

18

67

Rosderra Irish Meats Grp

19

66

B&Q Irl Ltd

20

65

Mowlam Healthcare Services