Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1292)

John Brady

Question:

1292. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of sanctions applied to jobseekers' payments in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [13626/19]

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 since their introduction and up to 15 March 2019 are listed below.

Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 to date

Total

PR

359

1,519

3,395

5,325

6,743

10,867

16,451

16,022

3,013

63,694