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, responsible for all purposes and all persons recruited by them.
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.
Earlier this year, I made a commitment to the CE supervisors and the unions to try to address the issues that were arising and still outstanding from the Labour Court recommendation of 2008.
My officials and I held an initial meeting with the unions to establish a process for these discussions and to agree the terms of reference and, these considerations are ongoing. As I have indicated in replies to previous parliamentary questions I am endeavouring to finalise a proposal.
As previously stated, 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.