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Community Work Scheme Fact Sheet

What is the Community Work Scheme?

The Community Work Scheme was launched in 2009 in a bid to help individuals get some working experience and position themselves better when looking for a job. The initiative has been successful in helping individuals find work throughout the years.

Between 2009 and 2016, the scheme operated by paying 75% of the minimum wage and social benefits. This meant that workers were being paid below the mimium wage and were still dependant on benefits. In 2016, this changed because the Government is paying the full rate of the minimum wage.

The Government believes that each and every individual, no matter the type of work he or she are doing or the context, should be paid the minimum wage in this country.

Before the reform in 2016, a worker was not entitled to be paid vacation leave or paid sick leave. This is no longer the case from this year.

Who is managing this initiative?

A public tender was issued for the management of this scheme. The cheapest bidder, the GWU, won with 
€980 per month per worker. This fee covers the minimum wage of the worker and the management, operational and training cost of the individuals.

Is it true the GWU is making profits of €3,000 per worker a year?

No. On top of the minimum wage, the supplier must pay the 10% social security contributions (approximately €1,000 per worker a year) and statutory bonuses (€512 per worker a year). From the remaining €1,500 there are other costs to be included – mainly operational, management and training costs. In addition, any cost of living increase must be absorbed by the supplier. In 2017, the cost for each employee will increase by €100. This means that the “€3,000 profit margin” quoted in the media is an inherently false claim.