Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (416, 475)

Derek Keating

Question:

416. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will investigate the outcome of a Labour Court decision (details supplied). [5012/14]

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Nicky McFadden

Question:

475. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if, in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, he will consider a cash limited scheme to address the issue of the capacity of the community and voluntary sector to pay enhanced redundancy payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5511/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 416 and 475 together.

My Department has no role in the internal operations of community and voluntary sector organisations and, therefore, does not have a role in relation to staff or employment matters, which are for the Board of the company, as the employer, to manage.

Under the Community Affairs (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011, certain functions vested in the then Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs were transferred to me, as Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. These functions included the functions relating to Section 2 (3) of the Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 which provided that: "The Minister shall not be, or be deemed to be, an employer, within the meaning of the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 and 2001, by virtue of the provision of funding to a person or persons under any scheme."

My Department has, in the past, under certain circumstances, supported such organisations to ensure that statutory redundancy payments have been made available to cushion the impact of job losses occurring as a result of reductions or cessation in funding for a particular activity or company. In this regard, a grant of €42,067.53 was provided to the Company referred to towards the statutory redundancy costs of the core funded community development employees.

The Government recognises that like other economic sectors, the community and voluntary sector has had to deal with reduced funding and financial shortages in recent years.  Issues have also arisen around the capacity of the sector to make enhanced redundancy payments. In relation to such additional payments, my Department is considering a cash limited scheme to address this issue, and discussions are ongoing with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in that regard.

Question No. 417 answered with Question No. 114.