Dáil Éireann - Volume 504 - 05 May, 1999

Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

[332] 96. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will establish an independent appeals structure to cater for the processing of complaints by FÁS community employment workers who feel their grievances are not being addressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11272/99]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): Community employment is an active labour market programme delivered by means of providing grants to sponsors of projects which provide temporary work experience and training opportunities for unemployed persons. These opportunities are designed to enhance progression to a job in the open labour market. Participants are engaged by sponsors of projects and the specific terms and conditions under which they are engaged are matters for negotiation between sponsors and participants, subject of course to the terms of the contract FÁS have with the sponsor being met.

With regard to services provided directly by FÁS, including advice or guidance provided by FÁS staff to unemployed persons, before, during or following completion of a period on community employment, complaints procedure already exists whereby clients of FÁS can refer unresolved disputes to the FÁS Client Services Commissioner. The commissioner's investigations and recommendations are carried out independently and impartially and he can be contacted at P.O. Box 5656, 27-33 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 2.