Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (109, 110)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

109. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the rules regarding the ability of ETBs to reduce FET allowance payments for those on qualifying courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51307/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

110. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the complete former rate of jobseeker's payment including increases for qualified dependents is reduced and not solely the previous personal jobseeker's rate in circumstances in which a decision is taken to reduce the FET allowance payment to a person for lateness, missing training and so on; his views on whether this discrepancy causes unnecessary hardship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51308/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 110 together.

Once an individual has received notification that they have been accepted on a training course they are required to attend their local Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) Office to sign off in relation to their DEASP claim to ensure that there is no double payment.

On commencement of the training programme the learners will receive a training allowance (which is not a DEASP payment) through the Education Training Board that is providing the course. This allowance is calculated from the amounts indicated on a F103 (Participant Allowance Entitlement Form) provided by DEASP.

This F103 form, completed by the DEASP office, establishes the individual’s entitlement to a training allowance. Where the F103 form indicates a personal entitlement the individual will receive a training allowance of €198. This form indicates any additional allowances that are due to paid and can vary in accordance with the personal circumstance, eg. qualified children and/or qualified adults. The form also provides the reduction that is required should the learner have means assessed against their entitlements by DEASP.

The purpose of the training programme is to develop the learner’s skills and competencies and to prepare them for the transition to the workplace. As part of this preparation for the workplace, standard workplace practice are applied and deductions are made to the training allowance based on an individual’s punctuality and attendance.

The manager of the training function has some limited discretion in relation to the application of deductions to training allowance in hardship cases.

It is important to note that learners may apply to DEASP for reimbursement of payments under the Illness Benefit System where they have experienced absences from their training course for periods of 6 days or more due to illness.