The ‘Making Work Pay’ Report has been launched and will, I believe, help support more people with disabilities in Galway and Mayo into the workplace.
Launched by Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health, Simon Harris the ‘Making Work Pay’ Report was compiled by an interdepartmental group chaired by economist, Professor Frances Ruane and comprising representatives of the Departments of Health and Social Protection.
The Report proposes two dozen recommendations which aim to help people with disabilities secure employment while removing the barriers which currently exist.
The ‘Making Work Pay’ Report sets out clear recommendations on how more people with disabilities can be encouraged into the workplace and how Government departments and State Agencies can help people with disabilities to realise their employment ambitions.
Several of the recommendations are particularly welcome and I’m encouraged by Minister Varadkar’s commitment to implementing reforms immediately. These changes include: the retention of the Free Travel Pass for five years for a person who moves from a long-term disability payment into employment; the introduction of a trained case officer at INTREO offices; and the introduction of a new fast-track return to Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension for people where a job does not work out.
The fast-track return to a social welfare support is particularly welcome and is an innovation which I have advocated for for several years. Under the old system the possibility of a new job not working out and the prospect of weeks or months waiting to return to a welfare payment were so daunting and were major deterrents and barriers for people which disabilities in taking up employment.
An additional reform has also been announced by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris which will enable a person with a disability to earn more from employment or work longer while continuing to qualify for a medical card.
These reforms are very significant in providing targeted support and in removing barriers and will help more people with disabilities in Galway to enter the workplace.
The Making Work Pay Report is available at https://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/2017-03-04_MakeWorkPay_Report.pdf