News & Media

Unfair Employment Situation for Community Employment Supervisors

13 February 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Brendan Howlin TD, Leader of the Labour Party, today asked the Taoiseach about the unfair situation for Supervisors on Community Employment Schemes.

These schemes are funded by the Department of Social Protection, yet are not subject to the Public Service Superannuation Act 2018, which means they are not being given the same opportunity as other people paid by the Department to work until 70 years old. 

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Howlin said:

“The Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018 allows public servants to continue working up until the age of 70 if they so choose.

“Community Employment schemes provide essential services across the country in towns, villages and parishes. They are publicly funded and provide employment and retraining opportunities with excellent social outcomes.

“There are currently 44 supervisors on Community Employment schemes aged between 65 and 66.

“The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection has said that she does not provide funding for participants or supervisors who have reached the State pension age. Why is it one rule for some, but not for others?

“I’m aware of a scheme where the supervisor is being made to retire in April. The position of supervisor has been advertised for over a month with no applicants or enquires. Why won’t the Department change the rules to allow those who wish to continue to work to do so?

“Will the Government commit to ending this age discrimination? The written response I received previously from the Minister simply claims that because they are not directly employed by the Department, it is not her concern. But CE schemes are an essential part of the Department's work and I ask the Minister to change the rules in place right now and prevent the loss of experienced supervisors who wish to continue to contribute to this important service.”