Sunday, June 30, 2019

Know Your Rights: Electric scooters


Know Your Rights: Electric scooters

June 2019

Question
Travelling to my office through city traffic is taking me longer because of increased congestion. Can I travel by electric scooter instead?

Answer
An electric scooter (sometimes called an e-scooter) is a small platform with two or more wheels that is propelled by an electric motor. The rider can also propel the electric scooter forward by pushing off the ground.
Electric scooters and electric skateboards fall into the category of ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ (as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961).  If a vehicle can be powered by mechanical or electrical power alone, then it is considered to be a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’.
Under Irish road traffic law, people using such vehicles in a public place must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence. There are penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements. As it is currently not possible to tax or insure electric scooters or skateboards, they are not considered suitable for use in public places.
However, the Road Safety Authority is carrying out research as to how electric scooters and other such vehicles are regulated in other countries, particularly in other EU member states. The goal is to understand the road safety implications of the use of such vehicles on public roads, especially when interacting with other vehicles.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens InformationService CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Know Your Rights B: State Pension (Contributory)



 Know Your Rights B: State Pension (Contributory) 

June 2019
Question
I will be retiring soon. I spent many years working and I have also spent time raising and caring for my family. Can I qualify for the State Pension (Contributory)?
Answer
The State Pension (Contributory) (SPC) is paid from the age of 66 to people who have worked and have enough social insurance contributions. Recent changes introduced a new method to calculate the rate of SPC paid to a person who reaches pension age on or after 1 September 2012. The new method can help people who have spent time out of the workforce caring to qualify for an SPC.
Firstly, you must be aged 66 or over and have enough Class A, E, F,G, H, N or S social insurance contributions, you must have started to pay social insurance in Ireland before the age of 56 and you must have 520 full-rate contributions (10 years of contributions).
Then, provided you reached pension age on or after 1 September 2012, you can have your contributions assessed using the new  Total Contributions Approach (TCA) and can avail of a new HomeCaring Periods Scheme. The TCA counts the total number of contributions you have paid. If you have 2,080 or more contributions (40 years of employment) you will qualify for the maximum personal rate of SPC. If you have fewer than 2,080 contributions, you can use up to 1,040 Home Caring Periods (20 years) and up to 520 credited contributions (10 years), to help you qualify for an SPC. Your combined Home Caring Periods and credited contributions cannot be more than 1,040 (20 years).
If you reached pension age on or after 1 September 2012, your entitlement to a pension will be calculated using both the current yearly averaging system and the new TCA calculation. If you are entitled to a SPC, the rate of pension you get will be based on whichever calculation is best for you. You can get a State Pension (Contributory) form from your local post office and your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens InformationService CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Know Your Rights: Recognition of your qualifications


Know Your Rights: Recognition of your qualifications

Question
I am returning to Ireland from Australia where I have been working and living for the last 10 years. I received my degree from the University of Melbourne. I want to do a Masters in Ireland on my return. Can I use my foreign degree to apply for a place in a third level course?
Answer
You should first check with the admissions office of your chosen 3rd level institution to see if they will accept your degree for admission to the Masters. 
NARIC Ireland also provides free advice on the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland. The service compares a foreign qualification to an Irish qualification of a similar type and level on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The NARIC Ireland foreign qualifications database has details of over 1100 qualifications from over 140 countries. You can download a Comparability Statement which compares your qualifications to an award type and level in the context of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications. If your qualification is not currently listed you can request recognition advice for your foreign award by emailing them directly. Visit www.naric.ie for more information. 
Make sure you have original copies of your degree (parchment) and exam transcripts before leaving Australia, as you will have to submit these with your application to the college and/or the NARIC.  


Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Know your rights: Is Good Friday a public holiday?


Question
Is Good Friday a public holiday?

Answer
Good Friday fell on 19 April in 2019. It is not a public holiday. While many businesses close on Good Friday, you have no automatic entitlement to time off work on that day.
However, Easter Monday is a public holiday. This year it fell on Monday 22 April.
If a public holiday falls on a day on which you normally work, you are entitled to either:
§  A paid day off on the public holiday
§  A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
§  An additional day’s pay
§  An additional day’s annual leave
If the public holiday falls on a day on which you do not normally work, then you are entitled to one-fifth of your normal weekly wage for that day.
Part-time employees qualify for public holiday entitlement if they have worked at least 40 hours during the 5 weeks ending on the day before a public holiday.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens InformationService CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.




Friday, April 12, 2019

Know Your Rights A: Authenticating documents

Know Your Rights A: Authenticating documents

Question 
We are a family planning to move from Ireland to live in Italy. Will Italian authorities accept our Irish birth certificates?
Answer
When you are abroad, you may need to use Irish documents, for example, a birth certificate, either for personal or business reasons. Governments and organisations sometimes require that public documents issued in other countries be authenticated or apostilled and translated before they can be accepted. Authenticating a document means verifying that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. An apostille stamp is an international certification.
Since 16 February 2019, EU citizens moving to another EU country no longer need to get an apostille stamp to prove that their public documents are authentic. This means that public documents such as birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates issued in Ireland by the General Register Office (GRO) and the Certificate of Freedom to Marry issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are accepted by authorities in other EU member states as authentic.
The EU Regulation also removes the obligation for citizens to provide a translation of their public document. If the public document is not in one of the official languages of the EU country requesting the document, citizens can ask for a Multilingual Standard Form, available in all EU languages, from the authorities of the EU country which issued the public document. Multilingual Standard Forms are now available on request from the GRO for birth, death, marriage, adoption and civil partnership certificates. For more information, visit gro.ie.  

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public. 
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Know Your Rights: Changes to minimum wage for people under 18

Know Your Rights: Changes to minimum wage for people under 18
Question 
What are the recent changes to the minimum wage?
Answer 
The national minimum wage has not changed and is still €9.80 for adult workers over 18.
However, from 4 March 2019, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 abolished training rates. These were minimum rates which applied to employees aged over 18 undergoing a course of structured training or directed study. The Act also simplifies sub-minimum rates based solely on age from March 2019. See table below for the rates on or after 4 March 2019.
Rates on or after 4 March 2019
Minimum hourly rate of pay, € % of minimum wage
National minimum wage 9.80 100
Aged under 18 - 6.86 70
Aged 18 -  7.84 80
Aged 19 -  8.82 90
From 4 March 2019, training rates are abolished.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

Monday, May 28, 2018

Know Your Rights: New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Question
I have heard that new data protection rules are coming in. What are these rules and how will they affect me?
Answer
A new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force across the EU on 25 May 2018.

The GDPR strengthens your rights and gives you much more control over your personal data. It also introduces stricter measures for businesses and other organisations that collect, control and process your personal data.

Under the GDPR, personal data is data that relates to you or can identify you, either by itself or together with other available information. Examples of personal data include your name, phone number, bank details and medical history.

Under the GDPR you are entitled to:
·         Access the contact details of the organisation collecting your data
·         See a copy of the data held about you
·         Have it amended or erased if it is incorrect
·         Move or transfer your data
·         Object to the use of your data
·         Information about how your data is being protected

The GDPR also imposes more obligations on organisations that control and process your data. These organisations must design data collection systems that meet specified requirements, collect only the data that is absolutely necessary for their purposes, keep records of the processing activities under their responsibility, keep data secure and report any data breaches.

Find out more on dataprotection.ie and gdprandyou.ie.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000