The JobPath service is an employment activation service that supports people who are long-term unemployed, including those working part time, to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. All jobseekers in receipt of a Jobseeker's payment from my Department are required to be available for and seeking full time employment.
In the case of clients already in part-time employment, the JobPath service will focus on any options or opportunities to increase the level of employment in their current role, or look at possibilities in other areas, which could involve some training, but would provide a more sustainable income and a move away from a jobseeker's payment. It is important therefore that these jobseekers continue to engage with their JobPath provider.
In order to ensure that the JobPath service can arrange job search activities and meetings with personal advisors to take account of work schedules, jobseekers are advised to inform their personal advisor on an ongoing basis of their work commitments and the JobPath contractors are required to be flexible in the provision of the service in that respect.
In regard to the individual case raised by the Deputy, the person concerned was referred to the JobPath Service on 23/3/18 and was in part time employment at that time. He was unable to attend a number of meetings with his personal advisor in October 2018 and as the JobPath contractor had not been provided with details of his work schedule for those weeks, they notified the Department of his non-attendance.
All decisions regarding the application of sanctions for failure to engage with activation services are a matter for the Department and in this case a penalty rate was applied to his payment for two weeks from 17th October to 30th October 2018. In order to review the application of the sanction in this case, an official from the Intreo Centre will make contact with the jobseeker shortly to determine the facts and will also answer any queries he may have regarding part time work and engagement with the JobPath service.