Know your rights August 2015

Know Your Rights A:

Starting a small business

August 2015

Question

I lost my job last year and I am now thinking of starting a small business. Are there any supports to help me?

Answer

Local Enterprise Offices provide supports to local businesses that are starting up or in development. You can find information about their training programmes and start your own business courses on localenterprise.ie. Also, Enterprise Officers in local development companies can offer advice and information on starting your own business.

If you have been getting a jobseeker’s payment for 12 months or more, you may be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. This allows you to keep a percentage of your payment for two years. If you are starting a business, you also may get extra supports, such as grants for training, market research, business plans and access to loans to buy equipment.

If you have been unemployed for at least 12 months and you set up a qualifying business, you may be eligible for Start Your Own Business Relief. It provides exemption from income tax on the profits from your business up to a maximum of €40,000 a year for a period of two years.

Often, someone starting a small business does so as a sole trader rather than setting up a partnership or a company. However, as a sole trader, if your business fails, your personal assets could be used to pay your creditors. Your main legal obligation is that you must register as a self-employed person with Revenue. As a self-employed individual you pay tax under the self-assessment system.

You may carry on your business using your own name. If you wish to use a business name you must register it. The Companies Registration Office has information about business names and different business structures on its website, cro.ie.

Further information is available from your local tax office and your Local Enterprise Office.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of youe local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 076780.

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

 

 

Know Your Rights B:

Complaints about health and social care professionals

August 2015

 

Question

 

I know that the regulator for health and social care professionals deals with complaints about fitness to practice but how do I find out whether this applies to a particular practitioner?

 

Answer

The regulator for health and social care professionals is called CORU. It sets standards that practitioners must meet and maintain and publishes a register of practitioners who meet those standards. This register is currently under development. The system of statutory registration will eventually apply to 12 professions, regardless of whether the practitioner works in the public or private sector or is self-employed. CORU also handles complaints about the fitness to practise of registered practitioners – for example, complaints of professional misconduct or poor professional performance.

 

Currently, the registers for five professions are in effect. You can make a complaint to CORU about a practitioner registered in one of these five areas:

  • Dietitians
  • Occupational therapists
  • Radiographers/radiation therapists
  • Social workers
  • Speech and language therapists

 

You can check the registers at coru.ie. Note that CORU can only look into events that have occurred since 31 December 2014, when it started accepting complaints. Once all registers are open they will include chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical biochemists, medical scientists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, psychologists and social care workers.

 

You can get further information on the fitness to practise complaints process on coru.ie. To make a complaint about a registered practitioner, you need to download and complete the Fitness to Practise complaint form. For information about how to make a complaint about practitioners of health and social care professions that are not regulated by CORU, see the website, healthcomplaints.ie.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of youe local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 076780.

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

 

Know Your Rights C:

Using a jet ski

August 2015

 

Question

I would like to buy a jet ski. What are the rules about their use?

Answer

Recreational boats are regulated in different ways depending on their size and what they are used for. The use of safety equipment on any mechanically-propelled pleasure craft is covered by the Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations 2005. This includes motorboats, powerboats, fast powerboats (those that can travel at a speed of 17 knots) and personal watercraft, known as jet skis.

 

Under the Regulations, you must wear a suitable personal flotation device (lifejacket or buoyancy aid) at all times when using a personal watercraft. If you are being towed behind a personal watercraft, you must also wear a personal flotation device.

 

It is illegal for child under the age of 16 to operate or control a personal watercraft.

 

The consumption of alcohol or drugs is also restricted by the Regulations. If you are operating a personal watercraft or being towed by one, you must not consume or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 

If an offence is committed under the Regulations, an on-the-spot fine of €150 may be imposed or the offence may be prosecuted in the District Court.

 

Wherever you intend operating the personal watercraft may be subject to bye-laws which can regulate and control your use of a personal watercraft. An offence committed under such bye-laws can also make you liable for an on-the-spot fine or prosecution.

 

It is recommended that before operating a personal watercraft, you should attend a suitable training course. Information on training courses is available from Irish Sailing Association (ISA), 3 Park Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Tel: (01) 280 0239 and from their website, sailing.ie.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of youe local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 076780.

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

 

Know Your Rights D:

European Health Insurance Card

August 2015

Question

My daughter and I are planning a holiday in Germany and Switzerland this summer and I’m wondering what happens if one of us becomes ill. Am I liable to pay for medical costs if I don’t take out insurance?

 

Answer

 

You and your daughter each need an individual European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card allows you to access public healthcare services if you become ill or get injured when visiting certain European countries. It doesn’t cover private treatment or the cost of repatriation to Ireland, if one of you becomes very ill.

 

The countries covered by the card are the 28 member states of the EU, the three other members of the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland. The card is not required for a visit to the UK if you can show that you are ordinarily resident in Ireland. In practice, this means showing a driving licence, passport or similar document. There is no charge for the card. Any website attempting to charge you for your EHIC is not connected to the HSE or any State services.

 

You can apply online at ehic.ie if you already have a medical card, GP visit card or Drugs Payment Scheme card. Otherwise, you can download an application form from ehic.ie or get it from your Local Health Office. You need to provide your name, address, date of birth and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). If your EHIC card has expired you can renew it online at ehic.ie. If a family member has changed name or address, they will need to contact their Local Health Office.

 

You should apply for the card a month before travelling, if possible. If you have concerns about getting a new or renewed card in time, you can get a Temporary Replacement Certificate either online or from your Local Health Office. You may also wish to consider taking out private travel insurance for expenses that are not covered by the European Health Insurance Card (such as the costs of repatriation or the expenses of relatives who travel to you if you fall ill abroad).

 

If you have a smartphone you can also download the free EHIC App. This helps you contact health services in the country you are visiting. The app does not replace the EHIC.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of youe local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 076780.

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

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