Know your rights November 2016

citizens information

Know Your Rights

A: Flu vaccination

November 2016

Question

I have been told I need to get a flu vaccine. Can I get it for free?

Answer

Influenza, usually known as the flu, is highly infectious and anyone can get it. However some groups are at greater risk of complications if they get the flu. This includes people over the age of 65, pregnant women and people who have a chronic medical condition.

The flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu. The flu virus changes every year and this is why there is a new vaccine each year. Vaccination is strongly recommended if you:

  • Are aged 65 and over
  • Have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
  • Have an impaired immune system due to disease or treatment
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • Are pregnant
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-stay institution
  • Are a carer or a healthcare worker
  • Have regular contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs

You can get the vaccine from your GP (family doctor) or pharmacist. Children can get the vaccine from a GP.

The vaccine itself is free of charge if you are in one of the recommended groups.

However, doctors and pharmacists may charge a consultation fee when they give you the vaccine.

If you have a medical card or GP visit card you can get the vaccine without being charged a consultation fee.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

 

 

Know Your Rights

B: Paternity leave

November 2016

Question

My wife is expecting a baby early next year. Will I be entitled to time off work after the birth?

Answer

Yes. Since 1 September 2016, eligible parents are entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory paternity leave from employment or self-employment following the birth or adoption of a child.

Under the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016, eligible parents include:

  • The father of the child
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the mother of the child
  • The parent of a donor-conceived child

 

In the case of an adopted child, an eligible parent includes:

  • The nominated parent in the case of a married same-sex couple or
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the adopting mother or sole male adopter

 

The Act provides for statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement. You must notify your employer in writing that you intend to take paternity leave and provide your intended dates no later than 4 weeks before your leave.

Your entitlement to pay and superannuation during paternity leave depends on the terms of your contract of employment. Employers are not obliged to pay employees who are on paternity leave. You may qualify for Paternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection if you have sufficient PRSI contributions.

For further information about paternity leave, you can contact the Workplace Relations Commission’s Information and Customer Service at Locall 1890 80 80 90 or through the website, workplacerelations.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights

C: Reserving a car registration number

November 2016

Question

How do I reserve a particular registration number for a new 2017 car?

Answer

You can only apply to reserve a vehicle registration number on or after 1 November of the year before you intend to bring the vehicle into use. In other words, to use the number in 2017 you can only apply to reserve a number from 1 November 2016 until Revenue’s close of business at the end of 2017. An application received prior to 1 November 2016 will be returned un-processed.

The number you reserve must be in the normal format and must correspond with the licensing authority area where you normally reside. It must also correspond with the year and half year in which the vehicle is to be first brought into use. For example, 172-D-111 may only be reserved by someone living in Dublin for a vehicle intended to be brought into use in the second half of 2017.

The registered owner of the vehicle on which the registration number is to be displayed must be the person in whose name the number was reserved.

All registration numbers are available for reservation, with the exception of the first number of each half year issued in the following cities Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Waterford. These numbers are, for example, 171-C-1, 172-C-1, 171-L-1, 172-L-1. They are reserved for the Mayor or Lord Mayor of each of these cities and are not available for reservation by anyone else.

A reserved registration number can only be assigned to a vehicle when it has been reached in the normal sequence. It may not be displayed on a vehicle before it has been formally assigned by Revenue, following the presentation and acceptance of a completed declaration for registration.

The fee to reserve a vehicle registration number is €1,000 and should be submitted with the application. The cheque, bank draft or postal order should be made payable to the Collector, Customs and Excise. You apply on Form VRT15A to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Registration Section, Central Vehicle Office, Rosslare Harbour, Co. Wexford.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

 

Know Your Rights

D: Help for people in mortgage arrears

 

November 2016

Question

We have not been able to manage our mortgage repayments and other loans for a long time. The bank keeps sending us legal-looking letters and at this stage we can’t bear to open them. Is there anyone who can help?

Answer
Yes, there is a new scheme of aid and advice for borrowers in home mortgage arrears. This scheme is part of Abhaile, the national Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service. It provides a range of services to help you to deal with your situation, including financial advice, legal advice and insolvency advice.

Panels of qualified and regulated professionals have been set up to provide services under the scheme. It is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Social Protection and is operated by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) in conjunction with the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI), the Legal Aid Board and the Citizens Information Board.

You will qualify for advice and assistance under the scheme if:

  • You are insolvent – this means that you are unable to pay your debts in full as they fall due and
  • You are in mortgage arrears on your home and
  • You are at risk of losing your home (for example, if your mortgage lender has initiated repossession proceedings or indicated that they plan to do so; if they have said that they consider you to be non-cooperating; or if they have asked you to consider selling or surrendering your home) and
  • The costs of staying in your home are proportionate to your reasonable accommodation needs

 

To access the scheme, you can ring the MABS Helpline: 0761 07 2000 (9am – 8pm, Monday – Friday) or contact your local MABS office.

Read more about the Scheme of Aid and Advice on Home Mortgage Arrears on justice.ie and on backontrack.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 your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780

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

 

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