Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 01 March, 2007
Written Answers. - Social Insurance.
Mr. Kehoe Mr. Kehoe
Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the type of stamp that was paid by FÁS for people who were on community employment schemes; and if he has plans to recognise the fact that people on such schemes were working. [8133/07]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Mr. Brennan: The Community Employment (CE) scheme is a programme administered by FÁS which is designed to assist long-term unemployed and others who are distant from the labour force by offering them part-time and temporary work positions in jobs based within local communities. Following the placement, participants are actively encouraged to capitalise on the skills and experi ence that they have obtained through the scheme by seeking more permanent part-time and full-time opportunities within the mainstream workforce. Participants on the CE scheme are provided with an average of 39 hours of paid employment per fortnight for a one-year period.
Earnings from this work are liable to PRSI contributions at class A. Participants with reckonable weekly pay of €339 or less are insured at PRSI sub-class A8 and are exempt from paying a PRSI contribution, while participants with earnings exceeding that amount are insured under PRSI sub-class A9 which has an employee social insurance liability of 4 per cent of earnings after the first €127. In each case, the employer pays a reduced PRSI contribution of 0.50%.
The requirement to pay PRSI Class A contributions was introduced in the Social Welfare Act, 1996, to enhance the working status of CE participants and to afford them the same level of social protection as fully insured workers. This extension effectively placed these workers on an equal footing with PRSI Class A workers — both in terms of social insurance liabilities and benefits.
Dáil Éireann 632 Written Answers. Social Insurance.