The following information is for Employers regarding Government Incentives
available when taking on new employees.

Job Plus – A Financial Support

JobsPlus is an employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. This incentive replaces the Revenue Job Assist and Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption Scheme from 1 July 2013. It is designed to encourage employers and businesses to employ people who have been out of work for long periods. Eligible employers who recruit full-time employees on or after 1 July 2013 may apply for the incentive.
The Department of Social Protection pays the incentive to the employer monthly in arrears over a 2-year period. It provides 2 levels of regular cash payments:

• A payment of €7,500 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months – see ‘JobsPlus for young people’ below

• A payment of €10,000 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months

JobsPlus Youth
Since 1 January 2015, under the JobsPlus Youth part of the scheme, the qualifying period for JobsPlus for jobseekers aged under 25 has been reduced to 4 months. It remains at 12 months for other jobseekers. Eligible young people will be given certification that they qualify for the JobsPlus subsidy and they can use this when applying for jobs.
The European Commission is providing co-funding to JobsPlus for participants under 25 years. JobsPlus is jointly backed by the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and Department of Social Protection on an equal funding basis. For the period 2015 – 2017 the allocation from each of the ESF and YEI is €2.7m approx.

Employers
JobsPlus is available to all employers in the private (including commercial semi-state), community, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors. It is not open to public service employers. Employers can avail of Jobsplus when filling positions that arise as a consequence of natural turnover.
Employers must meet the following conditions:

• The business must be registered as a PAYE employer with Revenue
• The employer must be compliant with Irish tax and employment laws. Employers will be asked to give an officer of the Department of Social Protection permission to check your status with Revenue and to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate using Revenue’s on line service.
• The employer must offer full-time employment of over 30 hours per week, spanning at least 4 days per week. The eligible employee must be on payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI.
• Employers must give details of workforce prior to application, where an increase in the work force is not evident employers will be asked to provide additional information to the Department to support the application.

You can find more information for employers in the list of frequently asked questions for JobsPlus employers on the DSP website by clicking here.

Employees
Eligible employees must:

• Be getting Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA), Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition or signing on for credits.

And

• Be at least 12 months* (312 days) on the Live Register in the previous 18 months to qualify as an eligible employee for the €7,500 incentive. Since 1 January 2015, the qualifying period is 4 months (104 days) for young people aged under 25.

Or

• Be at least 24 months* (624 days) on the Live Register in the previous 30 months to qualify as an eligible employee for the higher incentive of €10,000

*Periods spent on certain activation schemes, or time spent in prison may count this time towards the qualifying period once entitlement to one of the qualifying payments outlined above is re-established prior to commencing employment. Jobseekers’ payments paid in conjunction with periods of casual employment may count towards satisfying the qualifying period, as will breaks in jobseekers payments as a result of periods of illness during which Illness Benefit is paid.

People taking part in internships under JobBridge and the Work Placement Programme (WPP) who were getting a qualifying payment prior to their internship may be employed directly from these schemes once the required qualifying period and conditions are satisfied.

If approved, the employer will receive the following payments over a 2-year period for each eligible person they recruit and retain in employment:

Eligible person –
Has been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months (4 months if aged under 25)   Amount –  €7,500

Eligible person
Has been unemployed for 24 months or more      Amount –  €10,000

Payment will be made monthly in arrears by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) over a 24-month period. It will not be taxable for income or corporation tax purposes.

Employers

If an employer decides to recruit an additional employee, they can log on to jobsplus.ie and complete an online application form giving, for example, the name of company, size of workforce, bank details and economic sector of company.

Once this is submitted an officer of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) will review and check the tax clearance certificate is in order and email the employer if it is approved.

Once eligibility is confirmed by the DSP an employer may start to recruit, either by contacting their local Intreo centre or employment services office for details of suitably experienced and qualified candidates for their vacancy. They could also register the vacancy with Jobs Ireland.

Candidate employees

Once preliminary interviews have been conducted and candidates have been shortlisted employers should then ask these candidates to log on to jobsplus.ie to check their eligibility for JobsPlus. The DSP will process their request and verify eligibility by posting a two-part JP1 form to the candidate. Part A of the JP1 form will confirm the employee’s eligibility and rate of payment for a prospective employer, Part B is to be completed by the employer if they choose to employ the candidate.

The candidate should bring the two-part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.

When an employer identifies the most suitable candidate for the position, they should complete part B of the JP1 form for that candidate, sign the declaration and return to the DSP. The JP1 form will be processed by the Department and once all conditions are satisfied employers will be notified by e-mail that they have been awarded the incentive with regard to the employee specified on the JP1 form.

Once the candidate is offered a position they should contact the DSP to close their jobseeker’s claim. This can be done on line at welfare.ie or by contacting their local Intreo Centre or social welfare office. Payment of JobsPlus can only start once the DSP confirms that the new employee’s jobseeker claim has closed.

Review

If the application is refused the employer can request a review of the decision by a higher officer in the Department of Social Protection.

Employers should apply to register their company at jobsplus.ie.

You can get further information about JobsPlus by
logging on

  • to www.jobsplus.ie,
  • emailing Jobsplusinfo@welfare.ie or
  • calling (071) 9672535/9672583.

Information is also available from your local social welfare office or Intreo centre.

Jobs Plus is administered by:

Department of Social Protection
Employment Support Services
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Shannon Lodge
Carrick-on-Shannon
Leitrim
Ireland
Tel:(071) 967 2616
Locall:1890 92 79 99
Homepage: www.welfare.ie

Supports for People with Disabilities and for Employers

WSS provides financial incentives to employers, outside the public sector, to employ disabled people who work more than 20 hours per week. The Scheme is structured in three strands. The employer can benefit from one or all, simultaneously.

Strand I subsidy – is a general subsidy for any perceived productivity shortfall in excess of 20% for a disabled person, in comparison to a non disabled peer. An employee must work a minimum of 21 hours per week up to a maximum of 39 hours per week. The rate of subsidy is €5.30 per hour and is based on the number of hours worked, giving a total annual subsidy available of €10,748 per annum based on 39 hour week.
Strand II – is based on the total number of disabled employees in a company, an employer can apply for a grant to cover additional costs ranging from an additional 10% for 3-6 employees to a maximum of 50% of the wage subsidy for 23+ disabled employees.
Strand III – is where 30 or more disabled people are employed, employers can avail of a grant of €30,000 per annum to assist with the cost of employing an Employment Assistance Officer.

The successful job seeking applicant is required to give up his/her primary social welfare payment on commencement of employment under this scheme.

Reasonable Accommodation is a term used in equality legislation to define the framework within which an obligation is placed on employers and training bodies to take appropriate measures to accommodate people with a disability.
DSP operates a series of private sector employment supports to assist disabled people to access and progress in employment. These are now grouped under the umbrella name of the Reasonable Accommodation Fund

These supports could be outlined briefly as follows:

1. Employee Retention Grant Scheme – ERGS is available to private sector employers when an employee develops a disability whether occupational or not. It provides funding to identify accommodation or training to enable the employee to remain in their current position or to re-train them to take up another position within the organisation. There are two stages to the scheme;
– Assessment, 90% of the costs of developing a retention strategy can be funded to a max. of €2,500.
– Implementation, 90% of eligible programme costs can be funded to a max. of €12,500.

2. Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant – WEAG is available to employers in the private sector who need to adapt equipment or the workplace to accommodate a disabled employee. The maximum grant provided is €6,350 and covers minor building modifications such as ramps or accessible toilets; assistive technology; amplifiers for telephones, etc.

3. Job Interview/Induction Interpreter Grant – JIIG is available to cover the costs of an interpreter up to a defined maximum for a three hour period for interview and induction purposes where an interviewee or new staff member is deaf, hard of hearing or has a speech impediment.

4. Personal Reader Grant – PRGS is available to blind or visually impaired persons who are in employment and who need a Personal Reader to assist them with job related reading. Such reading is part of the employee’s duties but due to the nature of their visual impairment they cannot perform reading duties themselves. The grant to be paid will be based on a fee per hour, in line with minimum wage. Where there is a requirement for technically qualified readers, the fee to be paid will be looked at on an individual basis and may be higher.

The Disability Awareness Training Support Scheme provides funding so that employers can buy in Disability Awareness Training for their staff. The purpose of the training is to deliver clear and accurate information about disability and to address questions or concerns that employers and employees may have about working with people with disabilities.

The training is aimed at providing participants with an understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding disability, including:

· An overview of relevant anti-discrimination and equal opportunities legislation

· General and specific information on disabilities, perceptual awareness exercises and disability etiquette

Grants of 90% of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of €20,000, are available to private companies in the first year and 80% in the second and subsequent years. Eligible costs include actual fees paid in respect of external programmes trainer’s fees for in-house staff training, open learning/computer/web based training programme fees and learning materials e.g. manuals, books, clearly associated with the relevant training programme to a maximum of €650.

All these employment supports are available to the private sector only. (Each Government Department or Agency must fund its own “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities).

Supported Employment/EmployAbility Service
Supported Employment/EmployAbility Service is an open labour market initiative providing disabled people with supports to help them access the open labour market. It is implemented by sponsor organisations on behalf of the DSP who employ Job Coaches to provide a range of supports tailored to the individual needs of a jobseeker with a disability. The ultimate outcome is that the employee becomes independent of Job Coach support.

The EmployAbility Service is an employment and recruitment service to assist people with a disability to secure and maintain a job in the open labour market.
The EmployAbility Service provides a range of supports to employers and people with a disability, through Job Coaches. The range of supports include:
• Individual Needs Assessment
• Vocational Profiling and Career Planning
• Individual Employment Plan
• Job Sourcing and Job Matching
• On-the-Job Support and Coaching
• Advice and Support to Employers
• Follow-up Support and Mentoring to both Employers & Employees

further information on any of the DSP Workplace Supports for Employers and How to apply, can be found by contacting the relevant division listed on the DSP Website.

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