Major reforms have been announced to Community Employment (CE) and the Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
The purpose of CE schemes to support long-term unemployed people to gain work experience and training to assist them in finding employment opportunities whilst also providing vital services in local communities.
The age from which participants can remain on CE until reaching pension age is now lowered to 60 years,
This rule will also now apply in respect of people aged 60 and over on the Rural Social Scheme.
A CE scheme participant whose term has expired will be allowed remain on their scheme until a replacement participant is found.
Sligo Leitrim TD and Minister of state at the Department of Health Fran Feighan says the changes will reduce the impact of vacancies on the scheme and ensure vital community services are maintained.