Minister Burton welcomes progress; signals lone parents returning to work will shortly be able to avail of JobsPlus
JobsPlus, the Department of Social Protection’s employer incentive scheme, has helped 2,115 long-term unemployed jobseekers return to work since its introduction last July.
As of today (9th May 2014), a total of 1,611 employers are benefitting from the scheme, which incentivises businesses to hire jobseekers from the Live Register by providing monthly cash payments to offset wage costs.
Of the 2,115 people who have returned to work through JobsPlus, 60% - or 1,276 – had been unemployed for two years or more.
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has welcomed the progress made under the scheme and urged other employers to avail of it.
“Since coming to office, I have focused on transforming the Department from a passive benefits provider to an active and engaged public employment service that supports jobseekers and employers alike – and JobsPlus is the perfect example.
“We listened to employers who said previous employer incentive schemes were too fussy and complicated, and replaced them with JobsPlus, a straightforward, simple scheme through which the Department helps employers with their monthly wage costs if they hire someone who has been more than one year on the Live Register.
“The latest figures show that JobsPlus has helped 2,115 jobseekers return to work at 1,611 companies. The 1,611 employers in question are receiving a monthly payment from the Department of between €312 and €416 for each of those employees. JobsPlus is a win-win for jobseekers and employers alike.”
The JobsPlus incentive is payable on a monthly basis over a two-year period and provides two levels of payment:
· A payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months. This equates to approximately €312 a month.
· €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. This equates to approximately €416 a month.
“Three in five of the people who have returned to work through JobsPlus had been unemployed for two years or more. This is the group which typically finds it hardest to return to work and therefore is at risk of long-term welfare dependency. The true success of JobsPlus is that the scheme is breaking that vicious circle.”
JobsPlus was introduced as part of the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy to tackle long-term unemployment and Action Plan for Jobs to support a job-rich recovery. The scheme will reach ahead of time its target of supporting 2,500 jobseekers into employment within its first year.
Separately, under reforms announced in Budget 2012, the age threshold of the youngest child for a parent to qualify for One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is being reduced on a phased basis to 7 years of age. These reforms are aimed supporting former OFP recipients back into work and financial independence, and to prevent long-term dependency on welfare.
Last year, the Minister introduced the Jobseeker’s Allowance transitional arrangements which are designed, to assist lone parents on the pathway back to work. Minister Burton has signalled that the eligibility criteria for JobsPlus will now be widened so that qualifying lone parents receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition and seeking to return to work can benefit from the scheme.
Minister Burton said: "Research demonstrates that paid work is the best way out of poverty and social exclusion, and it is crucial that lone parents are helped in a compassionate, supportive and effective way to return to work in a manner that best suits their family circumstances. JobsPlus can play a crucial role in that process.”
Notes to editors:
JobsPlus is open to all employers in the private (including commercial semi-state), community, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors.
In order to qualify for JobsPlus, the employer must offer full-time employment of over 30 hours per week, spanning at least four days per week to eligible recruits. Eligible employers must be compliant with Irish tax and employment law. Employees must be on the payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI. Any jobseeker who has been in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment from the Department of Social Protection for 12 months or more will be considered eligible to be recruited under this incentive.
Further information and advice on all aspects of the JobsPlus Incentive is available by accessing www.jobsplus.ie, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (071) 9672535/9672583 or by visiting any of the Department’s offices.
Jobseeker's Allowance transitional arrangements
The Jobseeker's Allowance transitional arrangements are designed to allow former OFP recipients, whose youngest child is under 14 years of age, to receive the full support of the Department's activation services to help them return to work, training or education, while recognising the particular difficulties they face, such as childcare and long-term absence from the labour market.
The key element of the Jobseeker's Allowance Transitional arrangements is that recipients are able to seek work on a part-time rather than a full-time basis if this is better suited to their family requirements. They are also able to access existing childcare supports to enable them to engage in education and training programmes.
Pathways to Work
The Department of Social Protection is the lead department on Pathways to Work, which complements the Action Plan for Jobs, overseen by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Whereas the Action Plan for Jobs is designed to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, Pathways to Work aims to ensure that as many as possible of those newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.