The information sought by the Deputy in relation to job task forces established and operating under the aegis of my Department is as follows: North Mayo Enterprise Initiative; Leitrim Enterprise Project Group; Donegal Employment Initiative; Mullingar Inter-Agency Task Force; Limerick Inter-Agency Task Force; Longford Inter-Agency Task Force; Ballinrobe Inter-Agency Task Force; Clonmel Inter-Agency Task Force; Laois Inter-AgencyTask Force.
In addition to the formal notification procedures under the Protection of Employment Act, 1977, and the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 and 1991, an early warning system in relation to firms in difficulty is operated by my Department in conjunction with the State development agencies. The aim is to ensure, as far as possible, that firms in difficulty are identified in time in order to enable corrective action to be taken with a view to improving competitiveness and minimising any potential job losses. The effectiveness of the early warning system, which will continue to be monitored closely, is very much dependent on the willingness of firms to make the agencies aware of potential difficulties.
Redundancies notified to my Department under the Redundancy Payments Acts amounted to 13,600 in the period 1 January 1998 to 28 February 1999, including about 8,000 for manufacturing and related industry.