I propose to take Questions Nos. 212, 215 and 220 together.
The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.
The programme is delivered through independent Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies. The contract agreement between the Department and the Community Employment Sponsoring Body establishes their role as an independent contractor, responsible for all purposes and all persons recruited by them
CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector.
I am currently engaging with representatives of CE supervisors to discuss issues arising following the 2008 Labour Court Recommendation to which my Department and its predecessor as funder (Fas) was not a respondent. The detail of the discussions have remained confidential while the engagement is on-going and I would ask Deputies to respect these wishes and allow the talks to continue free from speculation.
In order to keep discussions open until a solution is found, it is difficult to specify a definitive date by which these discussions will conclude. However, it will take a number of weeks to complete.