Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ceisteanna (349)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

349. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount allocated to and spent from, respectively the reasonable accommodation fund in each of the past five years. [52423/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Reasonable Accommodation Fund aims to assist both jobseekers with disabilities and private sector employers seeking to employ or retain a person with a disability, by providing a range of grants.

The scheme in particular seeks to assist jobseekers with disabilities to gain access to the open labour market by providing grants to support private sector employers.

In summary the grants available are:

Workplace Equipment /Adaptation Grant, which provides funding to make the workplace more accessible.

Job Interview – Interpreter Grant, which is a grant for an interpreter to accompany, for example, a person with hearing loss to a job interview.

Personal Reader Grant, which provides funding for a personal reader to assist someone who is blind or visually impaired in their work.

Employee Retention Grant Scheme, which aims to help employers retain employees who acquire a disabled.

The Reasonable Accommodation Fund is a demand-led scheme in that expenditure arises in direct response to applications received. The value of the grants provided in the past five years is set out in the table below.

It is important to note, that the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities revised action plan was published recently by the Department of Justice and Equality. Within the plan there is a commitment by my department to undertake a focused policy review of the reasonable accommodation fund and this has commenced.

Table: Value of the grants provided under the Reasonable Accommodation Fund 2015 to 2019.

Year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 to Nov

Workplace equipment and adaptation grant

€58,108

€54,041

€69,254

€100,023

€70,506

Personal reader grant

€11,866

€16,537

€31,619

€12,338

€6,720

Job interview interpreter grant

€3,950

€7,244

€5,714

€6,361

€10,571

Employee retention grant

€0

€0

€0

€1,900

€0

Total

€73,925

€77,822

€106,587

€120,622

€87,796