Saturday 17 March 2018

Census enumerator positions filled within hours as Age Action criticise 'no over 70s' rule

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has closed applications for census staff due to the enormous interest in the posts.

Recruitment for 4,700 'Census Enumerator' staff began at 9am this morning but closed at 1pm.

"Due to the enormous interest in the census enumerator jobs we are no longer accepting registrations for these positions," the CSO reported this afternoon.

By 12.47 pm, a total of 15,870 people had registered on the CSO website,

The CSO said it received applications nationwide and said each of the applicants will go forward to an interview.

The big count is set to take place on Sunday, April 24 of this year.

Census forms will be delivered to households nationwide from mid-March and the results will be made public in July.

The last census took place on Sunday, 10 April 2011.

It found the population to be 4,588,252 people.

Meanwhile, Age Action has claimed the census 'discriminated' older workers.

The organisation criticised what it called "ageist restrictions" that barred anyone over the age of 70 from applying to be a census enumerator.

“We’ve received a number of calls today from members of the public, including experienced census enumerators who worked on the 2011 census, who have been told they are unable to apply for jobs with this year’s census," said Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action.

The CSO hold the position that the Public Service Pension Act 2012 bars anyone over the age of 70 from joining the public service pension scheme and so refuses to accept applications from older workers.

Mr Moran continued: “These are 10-week contracts. No one is going to be on a public service pension when the census is complete.

“Pension contributions docked from the pay of census workers are returned to them when their contract is ends.

“We would strongly urge the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the CSO to try to find a solution that treats older applicants like anyone else.

“If the Government is serious about eliminating age discrimination, valuing the experience of all workers and promoting positive ageing, it should be ensuring that roles like these are open to older people.”

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