Frequently Asked Questions - Gateway


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Local Authority Labour Activation Scheme "Gateway" - FAQs

  1. What is the labour activation scheme “Gateway”?
  2. What is the rate of payment?
  3. What is the rate of payment?
  4. What is the procedure for the rolling out of the schemes?
  5. What type of work will be undertaken under Gateway projects?
  6. How will LAs know what projects to put forward without knowing the skill sets available?
  7. Is it too late to submit projects?
  8. Who will be the Employer?
  9. Can a LA refuse participants sent to them by DEASP?
  10. Is the LA responsible for the person’s Health and Safety training?
  11. Who is liable for participants?
  12. Can Gateway participants work on projects being funded by Department of Transport?
  13. What is the process of re-hiring somebody else should a participant find full employment? What is the likely timescale for re-filling positions? Should a participant find employment after 6 months – does the LA have to re-advertise a position for 22 months?
  14. What happens when the participant fullfills a 22 month placement – can their contract be extended?
  15. Can LAs mix and match work to provide 22 month placements?
  16. What are the supervisory structures being proposed? What is the ratio of participant to supervisor? What are the specific requirements of supervisors?
  17. Can participants be provided to other state agencies/community projects for pieces of work? Does supervision change in such scenarios?
  18. What financial resources are available at a local level?
  19. Is Garda vetting needed- What is considered a No for persons with previous?
  20. Can a participant commence a scheme pending Garda vetting?
  21. Who is responsible for the Garda vetting process?
  22. Garda Vetting-delays
  23. Who pays the participant?
  24. Are the online systems up and running?
  25. What is the situation regarding working on Sunday?
  26. What are the disciplinary procedures for participants? Can payment be subtracted for non-compliance with the scheme?
  27. Can participants be asked to do other work – complementary to core work if not offered in original job description (i.e. is there flexibility in the system?)
  28. Are participants entitled to Sick leave and annual leave?
  29. What notice must participants give to end their participation on scheme?
  30. How are the potential candidates selected for the list to be issued to LAs?
  31. Will candidate’s skill sets form part of the selection process?
  32. What are the issues involved with the selection process?
  33. What kind of interviews will take place and who will be on the panel?
  34. Are there a list of names for the DEASP contact points per region?

1. What is the labour activation scheme “Gateway”?

  • Government initiative to reduce unemployment
  • Participants must have been in receipt of jobseekers allowance for a minimum of 24 months
  • Objective to provide on-the-job training
  • Fixed term contract (22 months only) between the individual and the Local Authority (LA).
  • 19.5 hours per week/ 39 hours per fortnight.

2. What is the objective of Gateway?

Work placements are a valuable route for participants to gain or update experience of the workplace, to learn new skills and to return to the routine of work. The scheme will assist the personal and social development of participants by providing short-term work opportunities with the objective of bridging the gap between unemployment and re-entering the workforce.


3. What is the rate of payment?

Participants will receive a payment equivalent to their rate of Jobseeker's Allowance plus €22.50 per week with a minimum payment of €210.50 per week.

For example:

  • If the Jobseeker's Allowance payment exceeds €188 per week, the rate of payment will be equivalent to the Jobseeker's Allowance plus €22.50 per week.
  • If the Jobseeker's Allowance is less than €188 per week (means or age reduced), the rate of pay will be minimum payment of €210.50 per week.

4. What is the procedure for the rolling out of the schemes?

  • Each LA to provide a list of work opportunities to the DEASP
  • The DEASP will randomly select from those in receipt of Job seekers allowance over 24 months (twice as many candidates as required by LA)
  • Candidates will then be subject to a recruitment process which will be undertaken by the LA in conjunction with local DEASP office
  • Once candidates are selected they must undergo Garda Vetting before they can commence work. It is anticipated that the schemes will begin late September 2013 in the initial front runner counties/ cities

5. What type of work will be undertaken under Gateway projects?

Whilst primarily focused on outdoor work, all areas of local authority activities will be considered. Work can only be undertaken on specific purpose projects or work that the LA used to undertake but no longer has resources to carry out and on new projects. Placements cannot be offered for positions already being fulfilled under the current Pathways to Work programme. It is important that work currently underway by other schemes is not displaced e.g. Rural Social Scheme/Tús/ CE.

The types of projects being put forward include the following

  • Village Enhancement Schemes
  • Landscaping
  • Tourism Ambassadors
  • Control of animals
  • Libraries
  • New projects - Brown Field Site Remediation

6. How will LAs know what projects to put forward without knowing the skill sets available?

Most referrals can be assumed to have at least basic skill levels (many related to the construction sector but also to retail and services sector). LA should therefore identify a broad range of tasks and works to be undertaken. Job descriptions can be developed to help in the selection and skill matching process. There is also an opportunity for LAs to design schemes around their understanding of the local unemployment base (i.e. where there may have been redundancies in a particular industry).


7. Is it too late to submit projects?

No.


8. Who will be the Employer?

The employers for the duration of the initiative will be the local authorities. They will be responsible for matters relating to the employing of the person, including inter alia, selection from panel of participants selected by DEASP, HR, induction, H&S training and compliance, leave arrangements and, payroll management; and will be recognised as the employer in all instances.


9. Can a LA refuse participants sent to them by DEASP?

Yes. Only on objective grounds based on suitability however, the objective must be to provide opportunities for those who are not job ready and would benefit from participation on this scheme. Based on referrals of those randomly selected by DEASP, the LA will establish a panel from which to recruit participants.


10. Is the LA responsible for the person's Health and Safety training?

Yes, the LA must ensure that the person has received all relevant H&S training in line with its own policies. Funding for H & S training will be provided.


11. Who is liable for participants?

The LA is liable for participants. IPB will cover the employer liability


12. Can Gateway participants work on projects being funded by Department of Transport?

Yes, the Dept of Transport are supportive of schemes that they are funding including Gateway participants.


13. What is the process of re-hiring somebody else should a participant find full employment? What is the likely timescale for re-filling positions? Should a participant find employment after 6 months – does the LA have to re-advertise a position for 22 months?

The LA will be able to maintain a panel of prospective participants from which recruitment can be made to fill vacancies that arise on an on-going basis. When this panel is nearing depletion, the panel can be topped up by DEASP.


14. What happens when the participant fullfills a 22 month placement – can their contract be extended?

No. There is no extension or re-engagement option for the individual.


15. Can LAs mix and match work to provide 22 month placements?

Yes – The LA is committed to offering 22 months of employment and may make up that time across a variety of different types of work.


16. What are the supervisory structures being proposed? What is the ratio of participant to supervisor? What are the specific requirements of supervisors?

Each LA proposes its own supervisory structures based on its own capacity. Supervision can be provided by staff members of any grade level.


17. Can participants be provided to other state agencies / community projects for pieces of work? Does supervision change in such scenarios?

There will be some opportunities for participants to work under a brokerage arrangement with community type projects but these will have to be agreed with DEASP.


18. What financial resources are available at a local level?

  • €120 per head H&S training
  • €270 per head PPE
  • €470 per head on operational cost/ materials and employment related costs (can include travel where appropriate)

Garda Vetting (GV)

19. Is Garda vetting needed- What is considered a No for persons with previous?

Each LA can determine where Garda vetting is needed for participants based on their own policies. Garda vetting will be carried out by arrangement through the Volunteer Bureau who currently provide this service for Tús. Those with previous records will be dealt with on a case by case basis – with reference to type of work being carried out.


20. Can a participant commence a scheme pending Garda vetting?

Participants should not commence scheme until the Garda vetting process is complete.


21. Who is responsible for the Garda vetting process?

Each LA as the contracting authority is responsible for the Garda vetting of each of the proposed participants. Garda vetting is to be in line with local policy on Garda vetting already in place.


22. Garda Vetting-delays

There are issues with the backlog of the Garda vetting process. 25 new officers have been appointed to the Garda vetting unit which will significantly reduce the waiting period to an estimated 5-6 weeks. Each LA has its own policy in place regarding Garda vetting which should be adhered to.


Payroll

23. Who pays the participant?

Technically, all participants are paid by the employing LA via a central payroll provider (Pobal). Payment will be made by EFT on behalf of LAs, and will be centrally administered by Pobal on behalf of DEASP. Funding in respect of participant's pay and employer PRSI contribution will be provided directly to the payroll provider by DEASP. Each LA will agree a standard arrangement with the payroll provider and this provider will act as their tax agent in matters relating to the Revenue Commissioners.


24. Are the online systems up and running?

The payroll system operated by Pobal for Tús will need to be amended for the new scheme and the tracking system needs to be developed. Both payroll and tracking systems are being administered by Pobal.


Terms and Conditions

25. What is the situation regarding working on Sunday?

Sunday working is permitted with TOIL at double time equivalent given e.g. if 7 hours are worked on a Sunday, 14 hours TOIL to be given.


26. What are the disciplinary procedures for participants? Can payment be subtracted for non-compliance with the scheme?

The LA's own disciplinary and grievance policies will apply to each participant. In the event that payment is to be suspended for any reason, the LA will deal directly with the payroll provider to action this. In the event that a dismissal is necessary, DEASP will be informed via a standard reporting template.


27. Can participants be asked to do other work – complementary to core work if not offered in original job description (i.e. is there flexibility in the system?)

Job description must relate to role as closely as possible, however, a participant's contract should provide appropriate flexibilities to provide for weather and other conditions that might require temporary or permanent reassignment. Discretionary work should be passed by Management / Unions before being commenced


28. Are participants entitled to Sick leave and annual leave?

Participants are entitled to annual leave and sick leave in accordance with the rules and conditions agreed with DEASP.


29. What notice must participants give to end their participation on scheme?

At least one weeks' notice needs to be given. If a participant leaves to take up other employment or to pursue training or education options they will be required to give at least one week's notice. In the event that they leave without notice or return to the live register, the Department and the payroll provider will have to be informed to terminate payment.


Selection Process

30. How are the potential candidates selected for the list to be issued to LAs?

The DEASP will randomly select eligible candidates from the live register in each DEASP region and this list will be issued to each LA. Generally the number of proposed candidates selected will be double the number of candidates proposed by the LA. The LA interviews candidates and places suitable candidates on a panel.


31. Will candidate's skill sets form part of the selection process?

No. The DEASP will randomly select eligible candidates. It will be up to each LA to profile the skill set of the persons referred.


32. What are the issues involved with the selection process?

Given the absence of the candidates from the labour market from some time, it is possible that many will not possess the interview and presentation skill usually expected from applicants. Therefore, LA should anticipate a range of issues in the recruitment process. LA are recommended to provide for group engagement and induction processes in advance of conducting one-to-one interviews and of providing supports, such as CV preparation and skill identification for candidates. The local development company, jobclub, DEASP case officer and other agencies can be supportive in providing assistance with this process.

A balancing act is required - LAs are not always going to get a perfect match but they need to provide opportunities for people.

The DEASP list will take into consideration the travel distance between home place and project base


33. What kind of interviews will take place and who will be on the panel?

The type of interview will be based on each LA's interview procedures. There will be a group briefing session with basic application forms filled out (with assistance if needed) in advance of the interviews. This will be the only data the LA will get on each candidate prior to the interview. The panel will comprise LA staff and where possible local DEASP representation. It would be valuable to have someone on the panel that could draw out additional skills of candidate.


34. Are there a list of names for the DEASP contact points per region?

The DEASP have provided a list of contact names

Last modified:01/02/2016