Know your rights – May 2014

Know Your Rights A: Self-employed people and Jobseeker’s Allowance

May 2014

Question

My small business is not doing well at present so my income has dropped substantially. Am I entitled to any social welfare payment?

Answer

If the amount of work you are getting from self-employment has reduced so much that it no longer provides a sufficient income, you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance. You must meet all the conditions to qualify for this payment, including a means test, but you do not need to close your business or stop working as a self-employed person.

 

The earnings from your business will be assessed in the means test. The assessment must reflect the income that you may reasonably be expected to get from your business over the next 12 months. Income for the last 12 months will be taken as a guide, but the means test will also allow for any factors that are likely to vary. You should be prepared to discuss these factors when you are being assessed for the payment.

 

Your earnings over the 12 months are assessed as your gross income minus work-related expenses. Your expected annual earnings from self-employment are divided by 52 to find your weekly means from self-employment.

 

Usually, you will be asked for your receipts and payments or audited accounts for the current and previous year. For example, if you apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance in May 2014, you will be asked for your receipts and payments from January 2014 to May 2014 and for 2013. However, in certain cases you may be required to show audited accounts for the last two or more years.

 

You may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting to be assessed for Jobseeker’s Allowance or if a decision is made that you don’t qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

 

The website selfemployedsupports.ie has further information on the services and entitlements available.

 

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880    Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611  

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 

Know Your Rights B: Anti-bullying policies and training

May 2014

Question

Our son is moving to secondary school soon and we’re concerned that he might be bullied. Is there any advice available?

Answer

The Department of Education and Skills requires an anti-bullying policy to be part of the written code of behaviour in all schools. Each school must publish its anti-bullying policy on its website and give it to the parents’ association. The policy must include clear procedures for investigating, recording and dealing with instances of bullying. The school principal must report regularly to the Board of Management and the Board must carry out an annual review of the policy and its implementation.

 

The National Parents Council Primary (NPC-P) and National Parents Council Post Primary (NPC-PP) have jointly developed a programme of anti-bullying training for parents of school pupils. The programme is funded by the Department of Education and Skills under the Anti-Bullying Action Plan. Each session runs for two hours and is provided free of charge.

 

The nationwide training sessions have been developed specifically for parents, so they are not suitable for children. They aim to enable parents to support their children regarding issues of bullying. The sessions also inform parents about the Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, which are available on the Department’s website education.ie.

 

You can find out where and when these training sessions are available from the websites of the two parent councils npc.ie (primary) and npcpp.ie (post-primary). The two councils have also developed an information leaflet for parents and you can access this on each of their websites as well.

 

Your son may find the website watchyourspace.ie useful if he has concerns about possible bullying.

 

The Office for Internet Safety and others have developed a booklet to increase awareness of all aspects of cyberbullying, including how to identify it and how to prevent it – available at internetsafety.ie.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880    Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611  

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

Know Your Rights C: Serving on a jury

May 2014

 

Question

I’ve recently been called for jury service and I’d be happy to do it, but I’m not sure who can serve on a jury. At the age of 65 am I too old?

 

Answer

 

There is no upper age limit for eligibility for jury service, but at age 65 or over you can be excused as of right if you do not wish to serve.

 

There are several other categories of people who can be excused as of right, including members of the Dáil and Seanad, ministers of religion, doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers etc. You can also be excused as of right if you have served on a jury within the last three years or have been excused by a judge at the end of a previous period of jury service.

 

It is an offence to fail to attend for jury service without reasonable excuse.

 

Every Irish or British citizen in Ireland who is aged 18 or over and who is on the Register of Dáil Electors is eligible to serve on a jury, except for:

 

  • People who are involved in any way with the administration of justice and

 

  • People who are unable to read or who have a long-term impairment so that it is not practicable for them to serve on a jury.

 

You cannot serve on a jury if:

  • You are not an Irish or British citizen  
  • You have been convicted of a serious offence in Ireland
  • You have ever been sentenced to five years or more in prison
    or
  • Within the last ten years, you have been sentenced to three months in prison.

 

Read more on the Courts Service website courts.ie.

 

 

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880    Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611  

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

Know Your Rights D: Vaccinations when travelling abroad

May 2014

Question

We are planning a round-the-world trip later this year. Should we think about getting vaccinations?

Answer

You should consider getting vaccinations if you are travelling outside of Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Health risks vary from country to country, so you will need to get advice about this well before you travel – ask your family doctor, the Health Service Executive (HSE) or your travel agent.

 

You will also find relevant information on the World Health Organization Country List. The HSE website has information on the different types of vaccines, such as those for cholera or tuberculosis – hse.ie.

 

Travel vaccinations are not covered by the medical card so you will have to pay the full cost for them.

 

Start the process of vaccination in good time before you travel. Some vaccines take time to become effective, so give yourself at least 8 weeks for full protection.

 

An early start is particularly important if you plan to travel with children. The BCG vaccination against tuberculosis (TB), for example, should be given at least 3 months before your child travels.

 

Some countries require you to have certain vaccinations and you will need to show an International Certificate of Vaccination in order to gain access to these countries. Other vaccinations are recommended and you can decide yourself whether to get them.

 

If you feel unwell on your return to Ireland, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Give full details of the countries you visited.

 

 

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880    Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611  

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 

 

 

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