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Know Your Rights March 2017

 

Know Your Rights

A: Part-time work and PRSI

March 2017

Question

I work part-time in a local restaurant from Thursday to Saturday. The number of shifts I work can vary depending on the time of year. How does this part-time arrangement affect my social insurance (PRSI) contributions?

Answer

The number of social insurance contributions you make can affect your eligibility for the range of social insurance benefits that are available.

It is called Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) because the amount of social insurance you pay depends on your earnings and the type of work you do.

In general, you pay a PRSI contribution in respect of each PRSI contribution week in which you work. The PRSI contribution week starts on the first day of January every year. Because this may fall on any day of the week, the PRSI contribution week may differ from the working week. You must be working on at least one day in each PRSI contribution week in order to pay a contribution.

In 2017, the first of January fell on a Sunday. This means that each PRSI contribution week this year runs from Sunday to Saturday.

As your part-time work arrangement requires that you work part of every week between Sunday and Saturday, you will have your full 52 PRSI contributions for 2017. Even if, due to the seasonal nature of your work, your working days were reduced to one or two of those days per week, you would still have your full contributions.

However, if your work pattern was to change to the same days for one week on, one week off, you would only get 26 weeks of contributions in 2017.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by ………………………… Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: ……………. Address: ………………………………………………..

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

 

 

Know Your Rights

B: Jury service  

March 2017

Question

I have been called for jury service but I’m not sure if I can take the time off work. What are my employment rights if I attend for jury service?

Answer

If you are in employment, there is a duty on your employer to allow you to attend for jury service. Time spent on jury service must be treated as if you were actually employed. In other words, you are entitled to be paid while you are away from work. Anyone with a contract of employment (including temporary or contract workers) is entitled to be paid by the employer while on jury service.

There should be no loss of any other employment rights while you serve on a jury. The Jury Office of the court will provide a certificate of attendance on request.

If you are self-employed and work alone and your attendance at jury service may mean that you can’t earn a living, you may qualify to be excused from jury service. Contact the Jury Office for more information.

The County Registrar or the trial judge may also excuse you if satisfied that there is good reason for doing so.

Some people have a right to be excused from jury service, including:

  • Full-time students
  • People who are 65 years of age or older
  • Those who provide an important community service, such as practising doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, vets, chemists, etc.
  • People in certain official positions (for example, members of the Oireachtas)
  • Some public officials whose work can’t be postponed or done by others
  • Those who have served on a jury within the last three years, or who remain excused by a judge following previous service

If you serve on a jury and feel your employment rights have been infringed or you have lost employment rights as a result, you can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission using the online complaint form available on workplacerelations.ie. Read more about enforcing your employment rights on citizensinformation.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by ………………………… Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: ……………. Address: ………………………………………………..

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

 

 

Know Your Rights

C: Preparing for retirement

March 2017

Question

I will be retiring from work in 2017 when I reach 65. What do I need to know about pensions and other benefits in retirement?

Answer

When you retire at age 65 you can claim Jobseeker’s Benefit, which is based on your Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions. If you do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is means-tested.

At age 66, you may be entitled to the State Pension (Contributory). If you do not have enough PRSI contributions, you can apply for a State Pension (Non-Contributory), which is means-tested. You should apply for a State Pension at least three months in advance.

You may have contributed to an occupational pension scheme during your working life or you may have a personal pension arrangement. You need to contact the pension provider to find out exactly what benefits your pension gives you.

If you move from employment to retirement in the course of the year, you should get a PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) from your local tax office at the end of the year. This will trigger a refund if you have paid too much tax.

Your Jobseeker’s Benefit or State Pension and any occupational pension are taxable. However, the tax exemption limits are higher for people aged 65 or over and there are some extra tax credits.

At age 66, you will be exempt from paying PRSI. At age 70, you will pay a reduced Universal Social Charge if your annual income is €60,000 or less.

At age 66, you will also be eligible for a Free Travel Pass and may be eligible for the Household Benefits Package, which consists of a free TV licence and an electricity or gas allowance.

For medical cards and GP visit cards, which are means tested, the income thresholds  are higher for people aged 66 and over. If you are over 70 there is a different means test for the medical card and you can get a GP visit card without an income test.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by ………………………… Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: ……………. Address: ………………………………………………..

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


 

Know Your Rights

D: CAO late application

March 2017

Question

The closing date for applying to college was 1 February. Can I still apply?

Answer

You apply for almost all full-time undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO). This includes, for example, university and institute of technology undergraduate courses such as Higher Certificates at Level 6 and degrees at Levels 7 and 8.

The closing date for 2017 CAO applications was 1 February 2017. However, late applications are allowed up to 5.15pm on 1 May 2017.

There is a fee to apply for courses through the CAO and late applications are subject to an increased fee. Late online applications cost €50.

You may change the courses you picked or the order of courses on your application. This Change of Mind facility is free. It opens on 5 May and closes on 1 July 2017 at 5:15pm.

If you are a mature applicant who wants to be assessed on mature grounds, or if you want to be considered for the HEAR and/or DARE schemes, most colleges will require you to have applied to the CAO by 1 February 2017. There are also some restricted courses which cannot be applied for after 1 February 2017.

The CAO provides a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply.

Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out. A detailed schedule of the offer rounds is in the CAO handbook.

It is important to note that there is no central applications body for Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses. Students must apply directly to the individual colleges. You should check the closing date for PLC courses with the college where the PLC course is taking place.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by ………………………… Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: ……………. Address: ………………………………………………..

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

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