Friday, November 27, 2009

Short-time working and Jobseeker's Benefit

Example: My working week was reduced to 3 days a while ago and I get Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB) for the days that I don’t work. I have been informed that the JB payment is due to end shortly. Can I re-qualify for this payment after working a 3-day week for the next 13 weeks? What are my options?

This refers to the general rule whereby someone who has used up their entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit may re-qualify by working and paying the appropriate PRSI contributions for at least 13 weeks.

However, in order to qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit you need to have suffered a “substantial loss of employment”. When you originally went on a reduced working week you would have satisfied this condition. However, if your employment pattern has not changed during the course of your JB claim you are now classified as a part-time worker for the purposes of assessing any new claim. As a result, the 3 days that you don’t work will no longer be regarded as substantial loss of employment, and you will not re-qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit after 13 weeks of part-time work.

Depending on your earnings and your family circumstances, you may be able to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance for the 3 days that you don’t work. Alternatively, you may qualify for Family Income Supplement (FIS) which is a payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs to help people at work on low incomes to support their families.

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