Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (249)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

249. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of regular grade civil servants her Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3320/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department’s EU and International section (including Irish-UK Relations) has responsibility for the Department’s response to Brexit.  As part of the Department’s planning for dealing with the UK’s departure the team was expanded by  two senior managers who led the programme of work necessary to ensure that the reciprocity of social welfare rights and entitlements, which currently exist for Irish and UK citizens moving within Ireland and between Ireland and Britain under the Common Travel Area, are safeguarded and maintained.  There are currently 11 staff (11 FTE) assigned to this section.

I am satisfied that this staff cohort, working with other colleagues in the legal and policy divisions of the Department, is sufficient to complete all of the arrangements necessary to maintain the reciprocity of welfare rights and entitlements.