Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (375)

Bríd Smith

Question:

375. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on the recommendations by the Labour Relations Commission on pensions for community employment supervisors (details supplied); her further views on whether she is the funder referred to; her further views on whether the recommendations are being rejected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51071/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

The programme is delivered through independent Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies. The contract agreement between the Department and the Community Employment Sponsoring Body establishes their role as an independent contractor.

The sponsor organisations of these schemes receive state funding to cover the cost of participant, supervisor, assistant supervisor remuneration, training and material costs from the Department. The supervisors and assistant supervisors are employees of the sponsoring organisations and are not public servants or employees of the Department.

CE Supervisors are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Department is currently engaging with representatives of CE supervisors to discuss issues arising following that 2008 Labour Court Recommendation and that all parties agreed that the detail of all discussions undertaken by the group should remain confidential until the process had completed. I would ask Deputies to respect these wishes and allow the talks to continue free from speculation.