My Department is aware that there had been an increase in insurance premiums for Community Employment (CE) schemes over recent years. The main reason cited for this is an increase in claims frequency by such schemes. In the first instance, my Department recommends that schemes seek alternative quotes to ensure they get value for money. Also, if CE schemes are not filling their contracted number of participants, it is recommended that they align their insurance requirement with actual participant numbers. Schemes are also asked to be especially mindful of their obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
The annual budget provided to CE schemes is based on a detailed appraisal of their actual annual expenditure levels in previous years and includes an amount to cover consumable services and materials, including insurance, necessary for the effective operation of the project.
If a scheme is experiencing particular difficulties with insurance costs, the Sponsor should contact their local DEASP Intreo Centre and the matter will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.