Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (390)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

390. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of a social welfare payment that availed of the opportunity to undertake voluntary work and been approved to do so by submitting a VW1 form in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50741/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

A person who engages in volunteering within the State may continue to be entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance provided that, in engaging in volunteering, the customer continues to satisfy the statutory conditions of being available for and genuinely seeking work.

The aim of the Voluntary Work Option is twofold, namely:

(i) to encourage voluntary organisations to involve jobseekers to the greatest extent possible in their existing activities by creating new opportunities to be considered a volunteering role and

(ii) to inform jobseekers of their option to engage in a volunteering role.

Participants in the Department's Activation Programme who are attending at Group Information Sessions are made aware of the Voluntary Option and advised that such activity may help in gaining new skills and increase the chances of getting a job.

I am advised that my Department does not hold records centrally of persons who availed of the voluntary option for the years in question. At the end of November 2019 there are currently 75 persons recorded as availing of the voluntary option.

I trust this clarifies the matter.