Social Welfare Act 2010

Jobseeker’s benefit — reduction of rates in certain circumstances.

7.— (1) The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following section after section 62:

“Jobseeker’s benefit — reduction of rates in certain circumstances.

62A.— Notwithstanding section 62, in the case of a person who—

(a) has, when requested to do so by an officer of the Minister, without good cause refused to participate or to agree to participate in a course of training which is considered appropriate by the officer having regard to the training needs of the person and his or her personal circumstances,

(b) has, without good cause, refused or failed to avail himself or herself of any reasonable offer of training provided or approved of by An Foras ?iseanna Saothair, or

(c) has, without good cause, refused or failed to avail himself or herself of an opportunity of participating in a programme administered by An Foras ?iseanna Saothair and the Minister pursuant to the plan commonly known as the National Employment Action Plan,

the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be as set out in section 65(2) or, as the case may be, paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 65A(2).”.

(2) Section 64(1) (as amended by section 18 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 ) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) in paragraph (c)(i) by substituting “reckonable” for “prescribed reckonable”,

(b) in paragraph (c)(ia) by substituting “reckonable” for “prescribed reckonable”,

(c) in paragraph (c)(ii) by substituting “reckonable” for “prescribed reckonable”, and

(d) in paragraph (c) by substituting “in excess of €300 in the governing contribution year or has reckonable weekly earnings specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (6) or, as the case may be, has reckonable weekly income specified in paragraphs (d) to (f) of subsection (6) in the periods specified in respect of those earnings or that income in those paragraphs” for “in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period”.

(3) Section 64 (as amended by section 18 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 ) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) in subsection (4) by substituting “68(1), 68(6) or 68(6A)” for “68(1) or 68(6)”,

(b) by substituting the following subsection for subsection (6):

“(6) For the purposes of the requirements of subsection (1)(c) relating to reckonable weekly earnings or, as the case may be, reckonable weekly income, a claimant—

(a) has reckonable weekly earnings—

(i) which do not exceed €44.43,

(ii) which exceed €44.43 but do not exceed €63.48, or

(iii) which exceed €63.48 but do not exceed €88.87,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced before 25 December 2003,

(b) has reckonable weekly earnings—

(i) which do not exceed €79.99,

(ii) which exceed €79.99 but do not exceed €124.99, or

(iii) which exceed €124.99 but do not exceed €149.00,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced on or after 25 December 2003 and before 5 January 2009,

(c) has reckonable weekly earnings—

(i) which do not exceed €149.99,

(ii) which exceed €149.99 but do not exceed €219.99, or

(iii) which exceed €219.99 but do not exceed €299.99,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced on or after 5 January 2009,

(d) has reckonable weekly income—

(i) which does not exceed €44.43,

(ii) which exceeds €44.43 but does not exceed €63.48, or

(iii) which exceeds €63.48 but does not exceed €88.87,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced before 25 December 2003,

(e) has reckonable weekly income—

(i) which does not exceed €79.99,

(ii) which exceeds €79.99 but does not exceed €124.99, or

(iii) which exceeds €124.99 but does not exceed €149.00,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced on or after 25 December 2003 and before 5 January 2009, or

(f) has reckonable weekly income—

(i) which does not exceed €149.99,

(ii) which exceeds €149.99 but does not exceed €219.99, or

(iii) which exceeds €219.99 but does not exceed €299.99,

in respect of a period of interruption of employment which commenced on or after 5 January 2009.”,

(c) by deleting subsection (7),

(d) in subsection (8) by deleting “that the claimant must have prescribed reckonable weekly earnings in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period”, and

(e) by inserting the following subsections after subsection (8):

“(9) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c)—

(a) the reckonable weekly earnings referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ia) of that subsection shall, subject to paragraph (b), be calculated as the total reckonable earnings in the governing contribution year increased by the amount of—

(i) a payment, if any, referred to in section 38, and

(ii) an allowable contribution, if any, referred to in Regulation 41 or 42 of the Regulations of 2001,

divided by the number of qualifying contributions in that governing contribution year,

(b) without prejudice to paragraph (a), the governing contribution year, for the purposes of the calculation, in accordance with paragraph (a), of the reckonable weekly earnings referred to in subparagraph (ia) of subsection (1)(c) shall be—

(i) the governing contribution year, or

(ii) the governing contribution year that relates to the jobseeker’s benefit claim referred to in subsection (1)(c)(ia)(II),

whichever is the more favourable, and

(c) the reckonable weekly income referred to in subparagraph (ii) of that subsection shall be calculated as the total reckonable income in the governing contribution year increased by the amount of—

(i) a payment, if any, referred to in section 38, and

(ii) an allowable contribution, if any, referred to in Regulation 41 or 42 of the Regulations of 2001,

divided by the number of qualifying contributions in that governing contribution year.

(10) In the case of a claimant whose claim, by virtue of having been entitled to or in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit or illness benefit in respect of any day in the 13 week period preceding 4 January 1993, forms part of a period of interruption of employment which commenced prior to that date, nothing in this section shall be construed as reducing the rate of jobseeker’s benefit payable to him or her to a rate which is less than the rate to which he or she was entitled to before that date.

(11) In subsection (9), ‘Regulations of 2001’ means the Income Tax (Employments) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 559 of 2001 ).”.

(4) Section 65 (as amended by section 4 of and Schedule 1 to the Act of 2006) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) by renumbering the existing provision as subsection (1) of that section, and

(b) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(2) Subject to this Act, notwithstanding subsection (1), in the case of a person to whom section 62A refers, the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be reduced and accordingly shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 which shall be reduced in each week by €44.”.

(5) The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following new section after section 65:

“Rates of jobseeker’s benefit relating to certain reckonable weekly earnings, certain reckonable weekly income and certain periods.

65A.— (1) Subject to this Act, in the case of—

(a) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(a)(i) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(d)(i), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €84.50,

(b) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(a)(ii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(d)(ii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €121.40,

(c) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(a)(iii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(d)(iii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €147.30,

(d) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(b)(i) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(e)(i), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €84.50,

(e) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(b)(ii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(e)(ii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €121.40,

(f) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(b)(iii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(e)(iii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €147.30,

(g) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(c)(i) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(f)(i), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €84.50,

(h) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(c)(ii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(f)(ii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €121.40, or

(i) a person with reckonable weekly earnings specified in section 64(6)(c)(iii) or reckonable weekly income specified in section 64(6)(f)(iii), the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be €147.30.

(2) Subject to this Act, notwithstanding subsection (1), in the case of a person to whom section 62A refers, the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be reduced and accordingly—

(a) in the case of a person referred to in subsection (1)(a), (1)(d) or (1)(g), the weekly rate shall be €65.00,

(b) in the case of a person referred to in subsection (1)(b), (1)(e) or (1)(h), the weekly rate shall be €93.00, or

(c) in the case of a person referred to in subsection (1)(c), (1)(f) or (1)(i), the weekly rate shall be €113.00.”.

(6) Section 66 (as amended by section 4 of and Schedule 1 to the Act of 2006) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by substituting “Subject to subsection (1A), the weekly rate” for “The weekly rate”, and

(b) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) In the case of a person referred to in section 65A, the weekly rate of jobseeker’s benefit shall be increased by €80.90 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of benefit under this subsection in respect of more than one person.”.

(7) Section 68 (as amended by section 4 of and Schedule 1 to the Act of 2006) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) in subsection (6)—

(i) by deleting paragraph (b), and

(ii) by deleting paragraph (c),

and

(b) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (6):

“(6A) A person shall be disqualified for receiving jobseeker’s benefit where he or she has refused an offer of suitable employment.”.

(8) Section 67 of the Principal Act is amended in subsection (9) by inserting “or 68(6A)” after “section 68(6)”.