Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (178)

Dara Calleary


178. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position in relation to pension claims by community employment scheme supervisors; the number of times the community employment departmental forum has met since January 2018; if his attention has been drawn to the Dáil Éireann motion of April 2018 supporting the claims of community employment scheme supervisors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7662/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As Deputies will be aware this issue relates to a claim by community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors who have been seeking, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme.

The matter was the subject of discussion at the Community Sector High Level Forum which was reconvened to examine certain issues pertaining to the Community Employment sector and in particular to ensure that the matter was fully examined having regard to costs and precedent.

A detailed scoping exercise was carried out by my Department in 2017 in order to comprehensively examine and assess the full potential implications of the issues under consideration.

The scoping exercise clearly illustrated that this matter presents very significant issues for the Exchequer, with a potential cost to the State of between €188 million per annum and €347m depending on the size of the sector which is difficult to ascertain, in respect of funding to enable an employer pension contribution in State funded Community and Voluntary organisations. This excludes any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension as sought, which could, depending on the size of the sector, entail a further Exchequer cost of up to €318 million.

It continues to be the position that state organisations are not the employer of the particular employees concerned and that it is not for the State to provide funding for such pension scheme provision. The employees in question are, or were, employees of private companies notwithstanding the fact that the companies concerned are, or were, in receipt of State funding.

The last meeting of the Community Sector High Level Forum was in December 2017 .