Community Benefit


Community benefit (also sometimes known as social value or social gain) is a strategic process aimed at ensuring that where a major capital infrastructure is being built the impact of this investment is maximised for the benefit of neighbouring communities – through the provision of jobs, education and training opportunities and supporting local business.

Community Benefit Clauses (CBCs) are contractual clauses that can be used to build a variety of economic, social or environmental conditions into the delivery of public contracts. By specifying contractual requirements that seek to deliver wider social benefits, CBCs allow organisations to contribute to the achievement of outcomes that will benefit their communities. They can be viewed as contributing to the Best Value and sustainable procurement agendas.

The government is now legally obliged to legislate on the issue of social clauses no later than January 2016 due to EU legislation. Under the EU public procurement directives adopted in January 2014, “The new rules seek to ensure greater inclusion of common societal goals in the procurement process. These goals include environmental protection, social responsibility, innovation, combatting climate change, employment, public health and other social and environmental considerations.

In the case of the NCH an oversight committee was established and includes all relevant stakeholders i.e. the Children’s Hospital Group, St. James’s Hospital; National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, Dublin City Council; Department of Social Protection; City of Dublin Educational Training Board; HSE; Tusla, An Garda Síochána  and local community networks and partnerships.

The Community Benefit Oversight Group has identified four priority themes to implement as its main action items, namely to:

The NCH Community Benefit Clause which is in included in each of the construction tenders (i.e. Enabling Works, Main, Mechanical and Electrical with a mechanism to involve the sub-contractor supply chain.  This Clause specifies a required target for what are being called “new entrants” i.e. people who have been 12 months unemployed, recently left school or college or are new to the construction industry.    All vacancies must be notified to the Local Employment Service in Dublin 8 and 12 and the Department of Social Protection’s Intreo Office in Cork Street, Dublin 8.   Mechanisms will also be put in place to notify local residents and others who may be interested in availing of jobs with the contractor along with an anticipated workforce requirements and timelines.


"CB clauses have predominantly been used by public agencies to create targeted training and recruitment opportunities from the construction of new physical developments. Less common, but potentially more sustainable in the longer term, is the targeting of end-use, service contracts. Furthermore, there is some recognition that CBs should not simply be viewed as something that delivers ‘x’ jobs or ‘y’ training places. Instead CBs should be viewed in a more rounded way that encourages greater creativity in the use of CB clauses"


Community Gain

Section 37 G (7) of the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 stipulates in the event that planning permission is granted for a strategic infrastructure development, the Board can make provision for a community gain arising out of the development.