Cllr.Damien O’Reilly, has today welcomed Cabinet approval to draft measures to give a legislative underpinning to an ex-gratia scheme for retired Community Employment (CE) Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors and to extend eligibility for CE to qualified adults who are linked to a jobseeker’s payment.

CE schemes provide those who are long-term unemployed with work experience in their local communities to help them find jobs.

Welcoming today’s progress, Cllr. O’Reilly said, “Fianna Fáil have long been a supporter of CE schemes and recognise the vital role they play and the sense of community they create.

“For many years in opposition, we campaigned tirelessly for a resolution to the issue of securing occupational pensions for CE supervisors and I’m delighted to say that in Government we are delivering on our commitment to resolve this issue.

“In December of last year almost 2,500 CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors voted to accept the terms proposed by this Government to pay members a retirement gratuity in settlement of their long running dispute. The value of payments to individuals will average around €11,000 and will be exempt from taxation.

“Today, I was delighted to receive confirmation from my Cabinet colleagues that CE schemes will now be extended to qualified adults who are linked to a jobseeker’s payment.

“These supervisors are doing fantastic work on the various schemes in our towns and villages in rural Ireland. I very much welcome today’s progress which further signals this Governments commitment to ensure CE supervisors receive recognition for the valuable work that they do.”