Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (634)

John Brady


634. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that funding to a company (details supplied) is being stopped on 30 November 2019; her views on the impact this will have for those seeking help and advice from MABS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37224/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Citizens Information Board (CIB) is the statutory body with responsibility for the  Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS).  A project to restructure the governance arrangements of the MABS companies  from 51 local companies to 8 regional companies was completed towards end 2018.

Following the restructure of the MABS local companies,  the Board of CIB undertook  an independent review of the company mentioned by the Deputy  in order to establish how best to align its structure and functions with the 8 new MABS regional companies.

Following that review, CIB has decided to undertake a reorganisation of that company. As part of that re-organisation, CIB issued a notice of termination at end July 2019  under the terms of  its service agreement, which allows CIB to terminate the agreement, without cause, at any time by giving four months prior written notice.

It is important to note that CIB,  which has statutory responsibility for MABS, including the company referred to by the Deputy, has confirmed to my  Department  that in the reorganisation proposed, all employees will retain their jobs, their terms and conditions of employment and will continue in their current place of employment. There will be no reduction in the money advice and budgeting services offered to the public as a result of this reorganisation.

CIB's intention is that staff currently employed  on the Helpline will transfer to the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS) company. CIPS is the dedicated phone service for calls relating to citizens information queries and operates on a national basis, similar to the MABS Helpline.  All of the  Helpline staff will be retained at their current base in Blanchardstown.

CIB's intention is that the remaining staff will transfer to a new support services company to further develop and enhance the functions of MABS in relation to training and quality, and will work closely with the regional MABS companies  to establish new services in the future. This company will continue to operate from the current MABS ND premises in Blanchardstown.  CIB is currently engaged in progressing arrangements for the establishment of that new company and for the orderly transfer of staff thereto.

All staff transfers will be conducted under the TUPE regulations which offer protection to all employees ( SI 131/2003 EC ( Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003) 

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.