"To the Minister for Social Protection
To ask the Minister for Social Protection if his attention has been drawn to the substantial increases in insurance premiums for community employment schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter."
"To ask the Minister for Social Protection his plans to increase the material grant provided to community employment schemes to affray the massive increase in insurance costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter"
.R E P L Y
Minister for Social Protection (Leo Varadkar T.D.):
The Department is aware there has been an increase in insurance premiums for community employment (CE) schemes in recent times. The main reasons cited for this by the insurance companies concerned is an increase in claims frequency over recent years by such schemes. In the first instance, the Department recommends that schemes seek alternative quotes to ensure they get value for money. In this context, schemes are also asked to be especially mindful of their obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
Insurance premium costs are reimbursed from the CE materials budget for the scheme. If there is a scheme experiencing particular difficulties, the sponsor should contact their local DSP office and the matter will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The Department is aware that, more recently, the insurance premiums have started falling again somewhat as the claims frequency has levelled off and there has been a greater focus on risk awareness and health and safety considerations in general.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.