Fine Gael TD for Galway West & Mayo South

Parliamentary Question No. 401 on Thursday, 19th July, 2012

* To ask the Minister for Social Protection if there are plans to add flexibility to the qualification criteria of social welfare schemes such as the jobseeker’s schemes and the family income supplement which would take into the account the changes which have occurred in the Irish workplace which have resulted in less predictable, standard working hours that is a teacher employed on a half-week contract but required to be teach over several days and hence ineligible for a payment such as casual jobseeker’s allowance.

– Seán Kyne.



The jobseeker’s benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative employment.  It is a fundamental qualifying condition for these benefits that a person must be available for full-time work.

The Family Income Supplement (FIS) provides income support for employees with families on low earnings. This preserves the incentive to remain in employment in circumstances where the employee might otherwise only be marginally better off than if he or she were in receipt of other social welfare payments.

It is recognised that a changing labour market has resulted in a move away from the more traditional work patterns, with a consequent increase in the number of atypical workers.  In response, the Department conducted a ‘Review of the Application of the Unemployment Benefit and Assistance Schemes Conditions to workers who are not employed on a full-time basis’ which examined the application of the jobseekers benefit and allowance scheme conditions to workers who are employed on a part-time, casual or systematic short-time basis.

The review made a number of recommendations which are informing current consideration of the Department’s schemes and their role in supporting people who avail of a mix of welfare and earned income.