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 my 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 are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and are not public servants. CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Department is currently engaging with representatives of CE supervisors to discuss issues arising following that 2008 Labour Court Recommendation. All parties agreed that the detail of all discussions undertaken by the group should remain confidential until the process had completed. That process is still ongoing and therefore I would ask Deputies to continue to respect the confidentiality of the discussions and to allow them to continue free from speculation.
In relation to the Workplace Relations Commission judgement, my Department received the Adjudication Officer’s decision on Monday 4th November, 2019. The Department has reviewed that decision and has sought legal advice on it.
I am very aware of the valuable and dedicated service that Community Employment (CE) sponsor organisations provide in running CE Schemes across the country. CE supervisors, as employees of these organisations, are an integral part of that good work.