Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (490)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

490. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of sanctions and-or penalties applied to jobseekers on foot of information supplied by JobPath providers since the commencement of the JobPath programme by year in tabular form. [40937/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to obtain and sustain paid employment. The service was launched in 2015 on a ‘rolling basis’ with referral numbers gradually increasing over time.

JobPath providers do not apply or recommend the application of a penalty rate of payment. They simply advise the Department if a jobseeker is failing to attend activation meetings without good cause. The application of penalty rates is entirely a matter for my Department and officials involved will take all relevant factors into account.

The process for sanctioning clients who do not engage with the JobPath activation process is exactly the same as the process for clients who fail to engage with the Department’s other activation services provided by Intreo Centres, Local Employment Services and Job Clubs.

Reduced rates are only applied where a job seeker fails to engage as requested, and following at least two warnings, with the Department’s employment services.

Between July 2015 and July 2018 179,000 jobseekers had commenced their engagement period with the service.

Up to the end of July 2018, 12,181 jobseekers had a penalty rate applied to their payment at some point during their engagement period with the JobPath service. The estimated breakdown per year is set out in the following table.

Jobseekers Engaged with JobPath By Year

Year

Number of Jobseekers Engaged with JobPath to have a penalty Rate applied.

2015

63

2016

1215

2017

5222

2018

5681

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.