Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD is to introduce a Bill to prevent Jobpath, the labour activation initiative, from denying participants from taking up a place on a Community Employment (CE) Scheme, the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) or the Tús Scheme.

Commenting on the Bill O’Dea said, “The aim of the legislation which I am introducing is to give a legal entitlement to a person taking part in the JobPath activation programme to opt out of said programme in order to take part in a Community Employment Scheme, a Tús Scheme or a Rural Social Scheme, in circumstances where a place on any of these schemes becomes available.

“I and my colleagues have been inundated with complaints from people who feel that they are being unfairly coerced into Jobpath but would prefer to take up place on a CE, RSS or Tús scheme, which in many instances is more appropriate and suitable to their needs.

“Furthermore, the Bill will also prevent Jobpath, which is a payment by results model and operated on behalf of the Department by two private companies,  from side-lining CE, RSS and Tús Schemes, which are an integral to the social fabric of communities the length and breadth of the country.

“Fianna Fáil is determined to put a halt to Fine Gael’s right wing and ill-conceived activation agenda and reverse the damage that is being done to these vital schemes by Jobpath. We support these schemes and recognise the tremendous benefit that they bring not only to participants but to the community at large and we are determined to safeguard them”.