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Social Welfare Payments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 June 2022

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Questions (609)

Martin Browne


609. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Social Protection the impact on the social protection payments of a person if they outline the measures they are taking to secure employment rather than engaging with Turas Nua and or JobPath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32678/22]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

All persons in receipt of a jobseeker payment must be available for and genuinely seek work, and must engage with the activation process.

Labour Market activation policies are designed to give jobseekers a better chance of finding employment. Activation is the process of selection and referral of a person in receipt of a jobseeker payment to a compulsory engagement and case management process that aims to support them into employment. Activation measures may include the requirement to attend group or individual meetings, and/or avail of suitable education, training or development opportunities, or specified employment programmes considered appropriate to the person’s circumstances.  This includes engaging with JobPath providers Turas Nua and Seetec.

The process is designed to support and complement the person's individual efforts to secure employment. The person may outline the measures they are taking to secure employment and Employment Services will assist them in those efforts by providing advice and agreeing a personal progression plan.

Activation is a mandatory process and failure to engage without good cause may result in a reduced rate of payment.  A reduced rate of payment is only applied where a jobseeker fails to engage as requested without just cause, and following at least two warnings from the Department’s employment services. Full payment is restored as soon as the jobseeker engages in the process.

JobPath providers do not apply or recommend the application of a reduced rate of payment.  They simply advise the Department if a jobseeker is failing to attend scheduled activation meetings.  Officials in the Department then contact the Jobseeker and seek to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter directly with them.  The application of a reduced rate of payment is entirely a matter for the Department and the Deciding Officer will take all relevant circumstances into account.

Any person who is dissatisfied with a Deciding Officer’s decision may appeal that decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO).

I trust this clarifies the matter.