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Employment Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (40)

Marian Harkin

Question:

40. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will examine the criteria for entry to the Tús and rural social schemes in terms of restrictions on time limits, for example, a person who has completed a Tús scheme for one year cannot apply for another three years. [50099/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department provides a range of income supports and employment activation programmes for unemployed or underemployed persons including the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and Tús. RSS and Tús both provide employment opportunities for participants with community and voluntary organisations in their area.

The RSS is a demand-led income support scheme, providing part-time employment opportunities for farmers and fishermen or women who are underemployed in their primary occupation.

To be eligible to participate on RSS, a person must be in receipt of a qualifying means-tested social welfare payment and be actively farming or fishing in the State. There is no requirement for people who wish to participate on RSS to have been in receipt of a qualifying payment for any specified minimum duration.

Tús is a targeted activation measure for jobseekers who have been unemployed a year or more, that provides short-term work opportunities to participants for a duration of one year.

As a first-step activation measure for people who have become long-term unemployed, the objective of Tús is to move participants closer to the labour market, through the provision of structured work opportunities within their community, lasting one year. The aim is to support participants find employment on completion of the programme.

If participants are still unemployed on completion of their Tús placement, they can access further Department employment supports including back to education allowance and back to work enterprise allowance. These schemes can be accessed as long as entitlement to a qualifying payment is established. Tús participants can also access the Community Employment scheme immediately after exiting Tús. However other than the COVID related extensions to Tús participant contracts there are no plans to further extend the one-year time limit on Tús.

I trust this clarifies matters.

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