Jobseeker's benefit : Five-day payment week - Frequently Asked Questions


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  1. What changes to the jobseeker's benefit payment week were announced in Budget 2012 and when do they take effect?
  2. I am getting jobseeker's allowance; will this change affect me?
  3. I am fully unemployed; will this change affect me?
  4. Who can claim jobseeker's benefit for the days they are not working?
  5. What is the difference between a part-time worker and a casual worker?
  6. What is a systematic short-time worker?
  7. Which of these four groups is affected by this change?
  8. Why are systematic short-time workers not affected?
  9. How are part-time workers, casual workers and people who work week on/week off affected?
  10. Will this change affect the length of time I will get jobseeker's benefit?
  11. I am a casual or part-time worker and I work on Sundays; how does this change affect me?
  12. I am a casual or part-time worker and I usually work Saturdays; how does this change affect me?
  13. I am a casual or part-time worker and I usually work consecutive days; how does this change affect me?
  14. Am I still entitled to the same amount of holidays?
  15. I am a casual or part-time worker and I sometimes get paid jobseeker's benefit for just one day in the week; how does this change affect me?
  16. How do these changes affect payment rates?
  17. Where can I get more information?

1. What changes to the jobseeker's benefit payment week were announced in Budget 2012 and when do they take effect?

From 26 July 2012, the rate of jobseeker's benefit is changing to reflect a five-day rather than a six-day week. This will affect casual and part-time workers who are getting jobseeker's benefit. As this change is taking effect from 26 July, the first payments affected will be in respect of the week ending 01 August 2012.


2. I am getting jobseeker's allowance; will this change affect me?

No. There is no change to the payment week for people who are getting jobseeker's allowance.


3. I am fully unemployed; will this change affect me?

No. There will be no change to the weekly rate of jobseeker's benefit. This change only affects people who work part-time or are in casual employment and who also claim jobseeker's benefit for the days they are not working. If you do not work at all, you are not affected by this change, but if you stop claiming jobseeker's benefit, this change may affect your last weekly jobseeker's benefit payment.


4. Who can claim jobseeker's benefit for the days they are not working?

There are 4 types of people who can claim jobseeker's benefit while partly employed:

  • Part-time workers
  • Casual workers
  • Systematic short-time workers
  • People who work week on/week off

5. What is the difference between a part-time worker and a casual worker?

A part-time worker usually has an ongoing arrangement with their employer to regularly work a certain amount, for example, the same days every week. A casual worker has no such arrangement with any particular employer.


6. What is a systematic short-time worker?

A systematic short-time worker is a person who was employed full-time but, due to lack of work, has been put on short-time by their employer for a certain period.


7. Which of these four groups is affected by this change?

Part-time workers, casual workers and people who work week on/week off, and who get jobseeker's benefit for the days they are not working will be affected by this change.


8. Why are systematic short-time workers not affected?

Systematic short-time workers are already paid on a five-day basis so they are not affected by this change.


9. How are part-time workers, casual workers and people who work week on/week off affected?

Their weekly payment will be reduced – see the table at the end of this document for more details.


10. Will this change affect the length of time I will get jobseeker's benefit?

No. Jobseeker's benefit will be paid for the same length of time as before this change was introduced.


11. I am a casual or part-time worker and I work on Sundays; how does this change affect me?

The Jobseeker's Benefit week is based on a 7 day week. Sunday is treated as any other day in the week, as a day of employment or unemployment as appropriate.

In any single Jobseeker Benefit payment week, the number of the days for which benefit is paid plus the number of days worked cannot exceed five. The net effect of this is that, where payment is due for less than a full week, Jobseeker's Benefit is paid for each day at the equivalent of one fifth of the weekly rate.

Regarding JA

This 'JA week' runs from Wednesday to Tuesday including Sundays. Payment is based on a 6 day week, the daily rate is one sixth of the weekly rate.


12. I am a casual or part-time worker and I usually work Saturdays; how does this change affect me?

Your weekly payment will be reduced– see the table at the end of this document for more details.


13. I am a casual or part-time worker and I usually work consecutive days; how does this change affect me?

Your weekly payment will be reduced – see the table at the end of this document for more details.


14. Am I still entitled to the same amount of holidays?

Yes. You will still be entitled to take 2 weeks holidays in any calendar year.


15. I am a casual or part-time worker and I sometimes get paid jobseeker's benefit for just one day in the week; how does this change affect me?

You will no longer be paid jobseeker's benefit in situations where you used to receive payment for one day.


16. How do these changes affect payment rates?

The tables below show examples of changes to some typical jobseeker's benefit payment rates.

Table 1: Single person with no dependants (maximum weekly rate)
No. of days worked in
the payment week
Effective days of
unemployment in the
payment week
Previous weekly payment New weekly payment
0
6
€188.00
€188.00
1
5
€156.70
€150.40
2
4
€125.30
€112.80
3
3
€94.00
€75.20

 

Table 2: Couple with no child dependants (maximum weekly rate)
No. of days worked in
the payment week
Effective days of
unemployment in the
payment week
Previous weekly payment New weekly payment
0
6
€312.80
€312.80
1
5
€260.67
€250.24
2
4
€208.53
€187.68
3
3
€156.40
€125.12

 

Table 3: Couple with one child dependant (maximum weekly rate)
No. of days worked
in the payment week
Effective days of
unemployment in the
payment week
Previous weekly payment New weekly payment
0
6
€342.60
€342.60
1
5
€285.50
€274.08
2
4
€228.40
€205.56
3
3
€171.30
€137.04

17. Where can I get more information?

The Department will write to all customers affected by this change, explaining how they will be affected. For more information, see www.welfare.ie.

Last modified:23/02/2015
 

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