Call for easing of welfare rules for part-time workers

Part-time workers could see an easing of rules allowing them to supplement their income with welfare payments under proposals from an Oireachtas committee.

TDs argued that an hours-based system for casual workers could allow them to work up to 24 hours a week as well as claim welfare.

However, the authors of the report admitted yesterday that an easing of rules for workers could see as many as an extra 50,000 people temporarily moving on to the Live Register.

The Oireachtas committee on jobs said the system would be fairer than the present one which allows people to work three days out of every six, irrespective of the hours worked.

Workers could then work up to 24 hours a week and still claim benefits, explained report author Fine Gael TD, Anthony Lawlor.

The rules on working and claiming welfare would create a “stepping stone” for those wanting to return to full-time work, he said.

There are 85,000 people working part-time while also claiming welfare benefits.

Another 50,000 are working part-time and not on the Live Register.

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