There are a number of incentives in place for employers to hire individuals who are registered as unemployed. Here’s a summary of a few of these schemes that might be worth exploring if you have plans to hire in 2016.
- JobsPlus Incentive?
JobsPlus Incentive is an employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This Incentive replaces the Revenue Job Assist and Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption Scheme from 1st July 2013. Regular cash payments will be made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs where they engage jobseekers from the Live Register.
This Incentive is designed to encourage employers and businesses to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been out of work for long periods. The level of payment is increased for the recruitment of those out of work for more than two years.
- When does the JobsPlus Incentive Start?
Eligible employers who recruit full time employees on or after 1st July 2013 may apply for the Incentive.
- What is the value of the Incentive?
The Incentive will provide two levels of payment: a payment of €7,500 over two years to an employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months and €10,000 over two years to an employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. The new Incentive will be payable monthly in arrears.
- Eligibility for employers
This Incentive is open to all employers in the private (including commercial semi-state), community, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors.
In order to qualify an employer must offer full time employment of at least 30 hours per week, spanning at least four days per week to eligible recruits (i.e. that employee must be on payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI).
The employer must be a legal entity and/or a charity recognised by the Revenue Commissioners (with a CHY number) and registered with the Revenue Commissioners as a PAYE employer. Other legally recognised forms of business are eligible, including partnerships, sole traders, trusts, and unincorporated bodies provided these are recognised by the Revenue Commissioners and are registered as a PAYE employer.
The Incentive will be available to employers filling new positions or vacancies that arise as a consequence of natural turnover. Employers will be asked to give details of workforce prior to application – where an increase in the work force is not evident an employer will be asked to provide additional information to the Department to support the application.
The Incentive will not be payable until an Officer of the Department of Social Protection is satisfied that the employee has closed their Jobseekers claim and is no longer in receipt of a payment.
- Are self-employed with no employees eligible to participate?
Yes, once your business is registered as a PAYE employer with the Revenue Commissioners and you recruit an eligible employee you may apply for JobsPlus Incentive once the qualifying conditions are satisfied.
- How to apply and register as an eligible employer?
Once an employer decides to recruit an additional employee they can log on to www.jobsplus.ie and complete an online application form which gathers basic information such as name of company, size of workforce, bank details, economic sector of company and includes providing permission for an officer of the Department to check their tax clearance certificate online. Once this is submitted an Officer of the Department will review, check the tax clearance certificate is in order and if approved will revert promptly to the employer via e-mail.
- What are considered eligible employees?
Any jobseeker that has been receipt of a jobseekers payment from the Department of Social Protection for 12 months or more will be considered eligible to be recruited under this Incentive. Therefore, a jobseeker that has and is currently in receipt of a jobseekers payment (jobseekers assistance or jobseekers benefit) can be recruited, but they must have been in receipt of this payment for at least 12 months (periods on jobseekers assistance and jobseekers benefit can be combined). Jobseekers 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.
Jobseekers not in receipt of jobseekers payment and signing for PRSI Jobseeker credits will also be eligible once they are the required number of days on the Live Register.
Time spent in prison may count towards the qualifying time once entitlement to a qualifying social welfare payment is re-established.
An employer will be paid €7,500 over a two year period if they recruit and retain in employment a person who is under 25 years of age and unemployed for at least 4 months (78 days) in the previous 6 months. Any jobseeker that has been in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment from the Department for 12 months or more will be considered eligible to be recruited under this Incentive.
Jobseekers Allowance Transition Payment
An employer will be paid €7,500 over a two year period if they recruit and retain in employment a person who is in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance Transitional Payment. No qualifying period applies.
- Can persons in receipt of One Parent Family Payment and Disability Allowance be considered eligible employees under the Incentive?
No. The objective of the new JobsPlus Incentive which will initially operate on a pilot basis for a period of six months, is designed to encourage employers and businesses to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been on the Live Register and out of work for long periods. Only persons in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance or signing for Jobseekers credits will be eligible under the JobsPlus Incentive.
- Can time spent on activation schemes count towards the qualifying period for employees for the Incentive?
If the employee has been in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance or signing for credits prior to time spent on Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Jobseekers Transitional Payment, Tús, Back to Education, Springboard courses and short Fas courses will count towards the qualifying period but entitlement to one of the qualifying payments outlined above must be re-established prior to commencing employment.
- When and how do I ascertain whether my job candidates are eligible employees under the JobsPlus Incentive?
When an employer has conducted preliminary interviews and shortlisted candidates they should then advise these candidates to log on to www.jobsplus.ie to determine their eligibility for the Incentive as an employee. The Department will process this request from the candidate and revert to candidates with eligibility status by mailing a two part JP1 form to the candidate – Part A of the JP1 form will confirm eligibility and rate of payment for a prospective employer, Part B to be completed by employer should they chose to employ the candidate. The candidate should bring the two part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.
For further information on all of the available schemes and funding supports?
Further information and advice on all aspects of the JobsPlus Incentive is available by accessing www.jobsplus.ie, sending an email to email@example.com or by completing the Online General Enquiry Form or by calling (071) 9672535/9672583 or by visiting any of the Department’s offices.
JobsPlus Incentive is managed and administered by:
Employment Supports Services
LoCall: 1890 927 999
Fax: (071) 9672533