44. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the policies her Department has in place to address the issue of under-employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8360/17 asked on 23 Mar 2017 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The Action Plan for Jobs, which was introduced in early 2012, is one of the Government’s key instruments to support job creation. It is a whole–of-Government, multi-annual initiative which mobilises all Departments to support job creation. The Action Plan for Jobs is working.
Since the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched in early 2012, almost 206,000 more people are at work. Over 66,000 jobs were created during ...

1183. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she is aware that the allowance for board and lodgings for domestic workers has not been altered since minimum wage legislation was first introduced; if and when she will change these provisions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9934/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - National Minimum Wage)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): Domestic workers, sometimes described as “au pairs”, “nannies” or “child-minders” are not exempted or treated as separate categories of workers under Irish employment law. Ireland’s body of employment rights legislation protects all employees who are legally employed on an employer-employee basis, regardless of what title is given to them. Therefore, once it is clear that a person is working under a contract of employ...

306. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost to the Exchequer of the Low Pay Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1508/16 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Low Pay Commission Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Gerald Nash): The Low Pay Commission was launched on 26 of February 2015 with a budget of €500,000 (per calendar year). This is broken down on a pay (€270,000) and a non-pay basis (€230,000). Expenditure in 2015, the first year of operation of the Commission, was €155,500 (pay) and €95,100 (non-pay).
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64. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the ministerial transport costs for the years 2010 to 2013, inclusive, for each Minister and Minister of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44893/14 asked on 19 Nov 2014 - Ministerial Transport)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I attach below for the Deputy’s information details of transport costs in respect of the Ministers and Ministers of State appointed to my Department for the years 2010 - 2013. The costs detailed below cover the salary and related remuneration costs paid to Ministers’ Drivers (inclusive of Employers PRSI, Public Holiday Pay and Extra Attendance Payments) and the mileage and subsistence costs of Ministers and their drivers. 
For...

269. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of allegations of bogus self-employment or subcontracting that have been made to the National Employment Rights Authority over the past five years; the number that were investigated; the number of allegations that were confirmed; the findings that were made; the action that was subsequently taken; if an employer has ever been convicted or penalised in any way for bogus subcontracting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40128/14 asked on 21 Oct 2014 - Employment Rights)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): It is not within the remit of NERA to make determinations regarding the employment status of individuals vis-à-vis employment or self-employment. This is a function of the Department of Social Protection (Scope Section) who make decisions in relation to the insurability of employment and the appropriate class applicable where the matter is called into question and the Revenue Commissioners who equally make decisions concernin...

285. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs that have been created through the ConnectIreland initiative; the companies that provided these jobs; the origin of these companies; the start up costs associated with the establishment of ConnectIreland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24170/14 asked on 10 Jun 2014 - Job Creation Data)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): The ‘Succeed in Ireland’ initiative was launched in March 2012 as one of the key action points in the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This unique pilot initiative is managed by IDA Ireland and delivered on its behalf, under contract, by ConnectIreland, a subsidiary of the Taxback Group. Connect Ireland markets, promotes and implements the ‘Succeed in Ireland’ initiative in the international marketplace. Under the terms of the co...

381. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will intervene directly in the current industrial dispute at a company (details supplied) which has recently developed in Dublin and is ongoing in Limerick City; if he is concerned at the company’s possible reneging on an agreement to pay its staff a redundancy package of five weeks per year of service and now proposing to pay 2.75 weeks per year of service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45642/13 asked on 05 Nov 2013 - Industrial Disputes)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the dispute at Wallis has been settled and I believe it represents a fair and reasonable outcome from the point of view of both parties involved.
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6. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the way the venture capital fund he recently announced will operate; the process to ensure it does not suffer from a slow take-up similar to the microfinance fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42737/13 asked on 10 Oct 2013 - Seed Capital Scheme)

Deputy Richard Bruton: Last May, I announced a new call for expressions of interest under the €175 million Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-18, which will see the continuation of the Government’s support for innovative Irish SMEs. The scheme is targeting an additional €525 million in funding from the private sector, which will mean a total fund of €700 million available for investment over the lifetime of the scheme.
This new Seed and Venture Scheme 2013-18 will proceed by way of a series o...

123. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to the current industrial dispute at a company (details suplied) in Limerick city; if he is concerned at the company’s possible reneging on an agreement to pay its staff a redundancy package of five weeks per year of service and is now proposing to pay 2.75 weeks per year of service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41570/13 asked on 03 Oct 2013 - Redundancy Payments)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 125 together.
I understand that the dispute revolves around redundancy terms offered to 10 staff that were based in the Cruises St branch which closed down recently and that similar terms are being offered to staff based in the Childers Rd branch which is to undergo restructuring. It is also my understanding that talks aimed at resolving the dispute have been scheduled since the start ...

125. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to the current industrial dispute at a company (details supplied) in County Limerick; if he is concerned at the company’s possible reneging on an agreement to pay its staff a redundancy package of five weeks per year of service and now proposing to pay 2.75 weeks per year of service; if he is willing to investigate directly in this dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41608/13 asked on 03 Oct 2013 - Redundancy Payments)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 125 together.
I understand that the dispute revolves around redundancy terms offered to 10 staff that were based in the Cruises St branch which closed down recently and that similar terms are being offered to staff based in the Childers Rd branch which is to undergo restructuring. It is also my understanding that talks aimed at resolving the dispute have been scheduled since the start ...

48. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on whether Ireland’s competitiveness is improving; the way it can be further enhanced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24421/13 asked on 22 May 2013 - Economic Competitiveness)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 48 together. 
The recently published Forfás report “Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2012” is an important report in the context of our need to continue to build an export led recovery. It looks at the relative importance of different areas of cost for different sectors.
The report indicates that business costs have reduced significantly in recent years with overall price levels in the...

314. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the rate of unemployment in Limerick city for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and the current rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10199/13 asked on 26 Feb 2013 - Unemployment Levels)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am advised by CSO that unemployment rate data at this particular level of detail are not available. However, based on census results in 2011, an unemployment rate of 28.6% is recorded for Limerick City at administrative county level.
The Live Register series gives a monthly breakdown of the number of people claiming Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance and other registrants as registered with the Department of Social Pr...

7. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the measures he has taken or proposes to take in the wake of the Forfás report on the construction industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9100/13 asked on 21 Feb 2013 - Construction Sector Strategy)

(Deputy John Perry): I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 20 together.
In response to the requirement set out in Action Plan for Jobs 2012, Forfás prepared a draft strategy for the construction sector to 2015 following consultations with industry and other key stakeholders. The draft strategy sets out actions aimed at placing the sector on a sustainable footing for future growth.
The issues facing the sector are broad ranging and cross several Departments and their agencies, including the Dep...

387. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of former public servants recruited before 6 April 1995 who are currently receiving a public sector pension including both pensions funded by the Exchequer and through the Local Government Fund, and those pension schemes for which he has responsibility; the age profile of those public servants; if he will provide in tabular form the numbers of public sector pensioners in the following parameters between €1,000 intervals up to €20,000 and those on more than €20,000. (Question 5894/13 asked on 05 Feb 2013 - Public Sector Pensions Data)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Labour Court (Members) Superannuation Scheme has 8 pensioners recruited pre 1995 currently in receipt of pensions. They range in age from 63 to 84. Their pensions are in the following parameters:
 €15,000 - €16,000 1 €17,000 - €18,000 1 €20,000 + 6 

The Competition Authority (Chairman and Members’) Superannuation Scheme, 1996 has 3 pensioners recruited pre 1995 currently in receipt of pensions. They range in...

29. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of businesses that have availed of the microenterprise loan fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3340/13 asked on 24 Jan 2013 - Enterprise Support Services)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 29 together. 
Microfinance Ireland (MFI) opened for business on Monday 1st October 2012. At this stage, the number of applications received as of Monday 21st January is 70, and a further 51 are in the pipeline with those applicants receiving assistance from the County Enterprise Boards. 
Loans of up to €25,000 are available to microenterprises with viable business plans and repaymen...

126. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to the situation regarding workers (details supplied) in County Limerick, who have been forced to stage a sit-in in order to attempt to get moneys owed to them by the company; the steps he is taking to ensure that the workers are paid the moneys owed to them; if he will facilitate easy access to social welfare entitlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3435/13 asked on 23 Jan 2013 - Employment Rights)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Deputy Richard Bruton I share your concern in relation to the position of the employees in the company’s stores in Limerick and elsewhere who have been understandably apprehensive about the future of their jobs and the payment of monies owed to them by their employer. I understand that this situation has arisen due to difficulties across its operations in the UK and Ireland, arising from dramatic changes in the way music and films are bought and sold...

388. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if Home and Community Care Ireland have been in touch with him concerning the issue of the status of live-in carer’s under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 and the Working Time Act 1997 and the policing of that legislation by the National Employment Rights Authority; and the action he proposes to take to resolve this issue. (Question 58124/12 asked on 16 Jan 2013 - Employment Rights Issues)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton)(Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm that I have received representations from Home and Community Care Ireland and that officials from my Department have agreed to meet with their representatives to discuss the issue further.
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30. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the progress that has been made on the women in business startup drive since the end of the application period in September; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51862/12 asked on 22 Nov 2012 - Enterprise Ireland Investments)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): In line with the Governments Action Plan for Jobs 2012 Enterprise Ireland launched the Female Entrepreneurship Competitive Feasibility Fund in July 2012. Enterprise Ireland received 108 applications before the Fund closed on 4th September 2012. The assessment committee deemed the applications to be exceptional in terms of quality and potential and recommended that the top 20 applicants should be proposed to the Enterprise Ir...

34. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the mechanisms that have been developed to promote and deliver early stage investment by the Irish diaspora in new indigenous and inward startups as promised in the Action Plan for Jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51857/12 asked on 22 Nov 2012 - Industrial Development)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): The development and support of new High Potential Start-Ups in Ireland is a top priority of mine as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. An objective of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 is to continue the development of mechanisms to promote and deliver early stage investment in new indigenous start-ups from international sources, including the Irish diaspora. The following initiatives are being progressed by Government...