What's New

Applying for school transport

The Department of Education and Skills provides subsidised school transport for primary and post-primary pupils. Bus Éireann runs the school bus service and the Department of Education and Skills decides the annual fares.

Bus Éireann’s online application system for school transport is now open for the 2018/2019 school year.

The closing date for applications is Friday 27 April 2018. Please note that only new pupils need apply, for example, pupils who are starting primary school or moving to post-primary school in Autumn 2018.

There are separate schemes for primary and post-primary children.

Tidy Towns competition

The 2018 SuperValu Tidy Towns competition is now open for entries. The competition is for local communities who are interested in improving the quality of their surroundings and, in the process, developing community spirit.

The competition is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

It has been running since 1958 and each year attracts more than 700 communities across Ireland to compete for a cash award and the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Town.

Entry is voluntary and the competition is open to every village, town and city area in the State. The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s competition is Wednesday 23 May 2018.

Judging takes place in June, July and August each year and the results are announced at the National Awards Ceremony in September.

Read more about the Tidy Towns competition.

Improved access to online content services

Since 1 April 2018, new portability rules mean that you can access online content services when travelling within the EU.
The rules cover online content services that you have already paid for at home, whether by subscription or through an individual purchase.
These frequently asked questions and this factsheet (pdf) provide more information about the new rules.
You can read about this and other consumer rights changes on eccireland.ie.

Are you registered to vote in the next referendum?

The Register of Electors for 2018-2019 came into force on 15 February 2018. You can check to see if your name is on the Register.

If you are eligible to vote but are not on the Register of Electors, you can apply to be included in the supplement to it.

You can apply at any time. However, you can only be included in the supplement used at the referendum on 25 May 2018 if your local authority receives your application by Tuesday 8 May 2018.

If you wish to be included in the supplement to the Postal Voters List or the Special Voters List in time to vote in the referendum, the local authority must receive your application by Saturday 28 April 2018.

All application forms are available on checktheregister.ie and from your local authority.

Read more about registering to vote.

Is Good Friday a public holiday?

Good Friday falls on 30 March in 2018. 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 falls on Monday 2 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.

Read more about your public holiday entitlements.

Know Your Rights: Part-time work and social welfare payments

Question

I’m working part-time on a low wage. Do I qualify for any social welfare payments?

Answer (February 2018)

It depends on your personal circumstances. Many people work part-time before taking up full-time employment. If you are working part-time you can, in some cases, keep or apply for a partial social welfare payment, or you may qualify for additional supports.

If you work over 38 hours in a fortnight and you have children you may be able to claim Working Family Payment (WFP), formerly known as Family Income Supplement or FIS. WFP is a weekly tax-free payment for people on low pay.

You may be able to claim a jobseeker’s payment for the days you are not working. You can work part-time for up to three days a week and claim a reduced Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance payment. You may qualify for the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme if you were getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and find part-time work for less than 24 hours per week.

However, one of the main conditions for getting a jobseeker’s payment is that you must be available for work and actively seeking work. This means that you must continue to look for work on the days you are unemployed. You must also be unemployed for at least four days out of seven consecutive days.

If you return to work after a period of unemployment, you may qualify for the Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) which aims to help families move from social welfare into employment. The BTWFD and WFP can be paid together and the BTWFD is not taken into account in the means test for WFP.

If you are parenting alone and getting a One-Parent Family Payment, you are allowed to earn a certain amount each week and keep your payment. In some cases, people getting disability payments can do some work and keep a social welfare payment.

Easter holidays in schools

All schools will close for the Easter break on Friday 23 March 2018, unless they need to make up for time lost due to unforeseen closures.
If a school needs to make up time, it may stay open up to and including Wednesday 28 March 2018.
All schools will re-open on Monday 9 April 2018.

Read more about school terms.