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“Part-time Staff can’t afford to work more than 20 hours per week!”

It is nearly true to say now that Ireland’s social welfare system is in a complete diabolical state. The latest headline to reach the Sunday paper is “Part-time staff ‘can’t afford’ to work more hours” and this proves my opening statement.
The Sunday Independent published this article to raise the issue that part-time workers are actually better off if they don’t increase their working hours above the maximum 20 hours per week. The main reason behind this is the fact that when employees work no more than 20 hours per week they are financially better off! How does this even make economical sense?? The answer to that is very clear. In Ireland if an employee works less than 20 hours per week they can still hold onto all the social welfare payments which they may be entitled to such as lone parent and rent allowance plus their wages for 20 hours per week and actually come out at the end of the week making more than they would if they worked full time hours.
This clearly needs to be addressed before the social welfare bill increases even further. This also has implications on the employer as they find that they have to recruit two people to do a one person job and this can significantly increase any employer’s overhead costs. The serious and long term implication of this really is that people in Ireland simply have no incentive to work anymore. How can an economy which is in such disarray at the moment recover if the Irish people don’t even have an incentive to work anymore??
The Sunday Independent writes a piece quoted from a spokesperson on behalf of the Department of Social Protection who said “the department operates a control measure, whereby a percentage of employers of part time/casual workers are contacted periodically and asked to sign a declaration, confirming details of the days worked by a casual employee over a period of up to seven weeks. The employer is also asked if they have full-time work available for the person or if the person has been offered full-time work” but is this measure working as efficiently as it should?
It is clear that something needs to be done about this soon as the Government is loosing out on much needed PAYE, PRSI and income levy payments. An incentive to go out and obtain full-time employment is badly needed to get people back into work and most importantly to boost our economy!!
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