Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (489)

Bríd Smith

Question:

489. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of sanctions and-or penalties applied to the benefits of jobseekers applied in each of the years 2010 to 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form. [40936/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Penalty rates were introduced in 2011 as a means of encouraging jobseekers to engage with activation measures and to co-operate with efforts of the Department to assist them in securing employment. The Department is committed, under Pathways to Work, to incentivise the take-up of activation opportunities, including implementing sanctions for failure to engage.

The legislation underpinning the application of penalty rates is provided for in the Social Welfare Act. Penalty rates can only be applied in specific circumstances and the decision to impose a penalty can only be made by a Deciding Officer of the Department. If dissatisfied with that decision it is open to the Jobseeker to appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Details of the numbers of penalty rates applied in the specific years and up to 9th September 2018 are listed in the table.

Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018 to date

Total:

PR

-

359

1,519

3,395

5,325

6,743

10,867

16,451

11,169

55,828