Dáil Éireann - Volume 423 - 07 October, 1992

Written Answers. - Disabled People in the Public Service.

36. Mr. Deasy asked the Taoiseach if the Government intends introducing as a statutory requirement the employment of disabled persons by Government [116] departments, State bodies, local authorities, health boards and private enterprise.

88. Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) asked the Taoiseach if he will outline the Government's policy on the employment of the disabled in the public service; if all sections of the public service are complying with the policy at present; if a similar policy exists for the private sector; and if not, if he will take an initiative through the Programme for Economic and Social Progress to put one in place.

90. Mr. Crowley asked the Taoiseach if he has any plans to increase the number of disabled people working in the public service; and if he will encourage private companies to do the same.

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Question Nos. 36, 88 and 90 together.

The Government undertook, in the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, to increase on a gradual and sustained basis the number of people with disabilities employed in the public service. To oversee this commitment a Monitoring Committee comprising representatives of public service unions and management was established.

Arising from a meeting I had with the Forum of People with Disabilities in May of this year, I agreed to expand the terms of reference of the Monitoring Committee to provide for consideration of the employment of people with disabilities in the private sector and I agreed that the Forum would be represented on the Committee.

In July of this year, arising from a proposal by the Monitoring Committee, the Government decided that each member of Government should be responsible for the employment of people with disabilities in the area for which they have direct statutory control and/or functional responsibility.

The Monitoring Committee, which has met on four occasions to date, is at present examining the situation in relation to the implementation of the [117] Programme for Economic and Social Progress commitment, in particular how to achieve a 3 per cent level for the employment of people with disabilities in Government Departments, State Bodies, Local Authorities and Health Boards. The Committee are also considering how best a quota system could be extended to the private sector.

After a period of twelve months of operation of the Monitoring Committee, the Government will review the position in relation to the quota to consider if, in particular, legislation is necessary for its implementation.