On 1st July 2013 the Department of Social Protection launched a new Scheme which offers employers rewards for recruiting individuals who have been unemployed for a considerable period of time. The JobsPlus incentive encourages companies to employ the long-term unemployed and in return offers substantial cash grants to the employer.
JobsPlus replaces the existing Revenue Job Assist Schemes as well as the Employer Job PRSI exemption.
The list of individuals who have experienced long-term unemployment has grown significantly in recent years and the objective of this incentive is to motivate employers to recruit from this grouping first.
The cash grant will be payable monthly (in arrears) via Electronic Fund Transfer over a period of two years. This payment will only continue to be made if the recruit in respect of whom the grant is being paid remains in the same employment.
There are two different levels of grant – the higher rate will only be paid in respect of those who have been out of employment for more than 2 full years.
The figure being paid in respect of those who have been unemployed for 12-24 months is a total of €7,500 per person.
The grant in respect of those who have been out of the workforce for more than 2 years is €10,000 per person.
The critical eligibility criteria for JobsPlus are:
- The roles offered must be “Full Time” employments – offering more than 30 hours per week (and spanning at least 4 days per week).
- The employers concerned must be fully compliant with Irish tax and employment laws.
- The roles given to the long-term unemployed must not displace current employees – however, the grant is available to employers who are filling new vacancies as a result of natural turnover.
- The period of unemployment must be continuous (and a minimum of 12 months) in order for the recruit to be eligible.
Employers are not limited in terms of the numbers that they can employ from the long-term unemployment register.
As mentioned JobsPlus replaces the existing Revenue Job Assist Schemes as well as the Employer Job PRSI exemption – Beneficiaries of these schemes will, however, continue to receive the tax and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) exemption privileges for as long as they are entitled by the terms and conditions of these schemes to do so.
Employers are able to register for the JobsPlus Incentive by filling out a form on www.jobsplus.ie.
Employers will also be able to instruct prospective employees to fill out an online application to confirm that they are eligible for the JobsPlus Scheme.