Question No: 363 Ref. No. 23617/11

To the Minister for Social Protection

To ask the Minister for Social Protection her plans to implement the recommendations of the review of the application of the unemployment benefit and assistance schemes conditions to workers who are not employed on a full time basis which was published in 2007; the recommendations that are likely to be considered; when such a reform of the current system will take place; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 14th September, 2011.


Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D.)

The jobseeker’s benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative employment. It is a fundamental qualifying condition for these benefits that a person must be available for full-time work.

It is recognised that a changing labour market has resulted in a move away from the more traditional work patterns, with a consequent increase in the number of atypical workers. In response, the Department conducted a ‘Review of the Application of the Unemployment Benefit and Assistance Schemes Conditions to workers who are not employed on a full-time basis’ which examined the application of the jobseekers benefit and allowance scheme conditions to workers who are employed part-time, casual or systematic short-time basis.

The review made a number of recommendations which are under active consideration within the Department. These considerations are taking place in the context of the ‘Report on the desirability and feasibility of introducing a single social assistance payment for people of working age’, the current economic situation, and the considerable administrative and IT change that implementation of the recommendations would require.