Genuinely Seeking Work

To satisfy the Genuinely Seeking Work requirement, it is necessary that you show that you have taken some positive action in looking for work and that you are making genuine efforts to secure employment.

The steps which you are required to take must :-

1. Be reasonable in your case, and

2. Offer you the best prospects of securing employment.

Steps which would indicate that a person is genuinely seeking work can include:

1. Making oral or written applications for work to employers or persons who have advertised job offers on behalf of an employer;

2. Looking for information on the availability of employment from employers, advertisements, employment agencies and people who have placed advertisements indicating that employment is available;

3. Availing of reasonable training opportunities suitable in your case with FÁS or other state training providers;

4. Making applications for training/work experience on a Community Employment Scheme;

5. Acting on the advice given by a Facilitator, a FÁS adviser or other placement agency such as the Local Employment Service (LES). A Department Deciding Officer will probably question you about whether you approached such agencies or persons seeking advice and also the nature of the advice received and what action you have taken on the basis of that advice;

6. Taking positive, well advised steps towards establishing yourself in self-employment. This could take the form of:

  • Researching possible areas of self-employment, or
  • Preparing business plans for a self-employment project, or
  • Attending relevant "start your own business" courses, or
  • Seeking information, advice or guidance in relation to any of these steps.

What counts as 'Genuinely Seeking':

When deciding whether people have made genuine efforts, i.e. taken reasonable steps, to seek employment, the Department of Social Protection should consider all the circumstances of the case. Consideration should be given to:

  • The person's skills, qualifications and work experience;
  • The period of unemployment;
  • The efforts made in previous weeks to seek employment;
  • The availability and location of job vacancies; and
  • The person's family circumstances.

Skills, qualifications and experience:

Your skills, qualifications and experience may affect both the type of employment you can seek and the range of steps which you may reasonably be expected to take to find employment. For example, if you have literacy issues you cannot reasonably be expected to write to employers or read advertisements - but may take other steps such as visiting or phoning employers.

Ongoing Jobseeking:

Steps taken in previous weeks may affect the current efforts which you can be expected to make to seek work. For example, if you have written to a number of employers and are awaiting replies, you cannot reasonably be expected to write or contact those employers again until a reasonable time has passed.

Family Circumstances:

A person's family circumstances must also be taken into account in the efforts to seek and find work. For example, it may be unreasonable to expect a person with certain family responsibilities to seek work which involves a considerable amount of travelling time to and from work. It is, however, important to remember that where family circumstances prevent you from taking up a job, outside such reasonable grounds, you may be deemed unavailable for work and may lose entitlement to a Jobseekers payment.

Consistently Seeking Work

You are required to make consistent efforts to seek work. As such, simply making one or several job applications in a particular period (i.e. one day/one week) may not be seen as enough - unless that is all that was reasonable for you to do in that period.

So, for example,

  • Reading the Situations Vacant columns in the newspaper,
  • Visiting the local FÁS Office and reading the advertisements there,
  • Writing to an employer,
  • Applying for a particular job vacancy,

constitute single steps, or efforts, to get employment. For example, calling to a FÁS office, writing to an employer and applying for a job vacancy in the same period would be taken as 3 steps to seek employment.

Last Updated: 13/11/2013