Christmas Work! Jobseeker payment concerns?

Posted: 18 Nov 2018

Category: Career Advice

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed has put together an information guide and practical advice where people have expressed concerns about taking up such seasonal work and how it might impact the entitlement to a Jobseekers payment when the contract ends.

FastTrack - Seasonal Work

At this time of year job opportunities for people in receipt of Jobseekers payments arise with a great deal of short-term seasonal work on offer, providing not just much needed income but also invaluable work experience for future employment.

The INOU has put together an information guide and practical advice where people have expressed concerns about taking up such seasonal work and how it might impact the entitlement to a Jobseekers payment when the contract ends.

FastTrack - Sign up for up to 12 Weeks

The Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection (DEASP) operates a fast-tracking system for customers who sign-off to take up work for a short period of up to 12 weeks. If you have been offered full time employment, including work for 4 days or more per week, for up to 4 weeks you will not qualify for a Jobseekers payment for this period but you may benefit from the Fast Track process.

The Fast Track system allows you to sign back on to your claim without the need to go through the process as a new claimant and ensure that your original Jobseekers payment is re-instated without delay.

Signing off and your Jobseekers Claim

If you are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment you can take up full time employment for up to 12 weeks and you will not need to make a new claim when your employment is finished.

You will be required to provide information about your employment, however there should be no undue delay or issue processing or making payment on your reactivated claim.

Before you take up employment

  • Confirm with your local Social Welfare Office that have received an offer of employment and that you wish to 'sign-off' for the period of employment. If any issue or problem arises contact the INOU for information and assistance.
  • Provide the local Social Welfare office, in writing if possible, with details and information on the job you will be undertaking i.e. days, hours, wages, etc. or
  • If you can, obtain a letter from the employer outlining the duration of the employment and the rate of pay.

Before your finish employment

  • Contact your local Social Welfare office before your employment ends to advise them of the date your employment ends and of your intention to 'sign-on' to your Jobseekers claim.
  • Keep copies of your payslips from your employment and make these available to the local social welfare office when your employment is finished.
  • Be aware that income from employment may be assessed as means. This would only happen if your earnings from employment have been very high.

Remember, you must inform the Department if

Your spouse or partner takes up employment or self-employment during the period you have 'signed-off'

  • The level of your household income, savings or investments changes (increases/decreases) during the period you have 'signed-off'

Other issues to be aware of

The period of time you are employed, where you have 'signed off' your Jobseekers claim, will not count as a period of unemployment

This 'sign-off' period in your jobseekers/social welfare record may have an impact on your ability to engage with or participate in education, training or retraining courses. If you intend to take up state supported education, training, employment, enterprise or work experience programmes in the future check with the INOU how this will affect your entitlement to do so.

'Signing off' your Jobseekers claim may have an impact on your entitlement to a Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement - contact the INOU for more information.

If you are living in local authority accommodation or are on the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) you will need to inform the local authority of any increase in your income. Your local authority rent may be affected.

How to contact the INOU

Telephone

You can speak, in complete confidence, to an Information Officer in the Welfare Rights section directly at 01 - 856 0088, Monday - Friday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Online

Use the online form on the INOU website - https://www.inou.ie/contact/

E-mail

You can send your query directly to us by e-mail at welfare@inou.ie

Source

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