- Type of projects
- Allocation of places
- Selection Process
- Other Work
- Working Conditions
- Tax nad PRSI
- County and City Councils
- How to apply
Gateway – Local Authority Labour Activation Scheme.
Gateway was announced in Budget 2013 and is a County and City Council work placement scheme designed to provide short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The scheme is intended to assist the personal and social development of participants by providing short-term work opportunities with the objective of bridging the gap between unemployment and re-entering the workforce.
The work opportunities are intended to benefit the local area and are identified and provided by County and City councils (collectively known as Local Authorities - LAs) in both urban and rural areas. Gateway is managed by the various County and City Councils.
Unemployed people who are eligible to participate in the scheme are selected at random and contacted by the Department of Social Protection – see 'Selection process' below.
Type of projects
Whilst primarily focused on outdoor work, all areas of County and City Council activities will be considered. Work can only be undertaken on specific purpose projects or work that the County and City Councils used to undertake but no longer have resources to carry out and on new projects. Placements cannot be offered for positions already being fulfilled under the current Pathways to Work programme or being covered by other initiatives such as Tús, RSS or CE.
The types of projects to be worked on under Gateway include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Village Enhancement Schemes
- Tourism Ambassadors
- Control of animals
- New projects - Brown Field Site Remediation
Allocation of places
The places on the scheme are allocated to County and City Councils based on the availability of suitable placements within each County and City Council.
To be eligible to participate on Gateway, an individual must:
- Have been continuously unemployed for at least 24 months and "signing on" on a full-time basis; and
- Have been receiving a jobseeker's payment (Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance) from the Department of Social Protection for at least 24 months; and
- Be currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance.
Unemployed people who are eligible for the scheme will be identified and contacted by their social welfare local office and offered the opportunity to participate on the scheme.
If they agree to participate on the Gateway initiative they will be referred to their County and City Councils where they will be recruited for a suitable placement when it becomes available.
As there only limited places available on the scheme, not all eligible unemployed people will be contacted.
Participants on Gateway can take up other part-time employment provided it does not interfere with the work and times of their Gateway work placement. If participants are offered full-time alternative work they may terminate their work placement contract.
Participants will work for an average of 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 22 months. They receive the same statutory annual leave and public holiday entitlement as other employees.
When the placement finishes, they should contact their local social welfare office to re-determine their entitlements. They cannot participate in Gateway again for 3 years.
The minimum weekly payment for participants (based on 19.5 hours worked) is €210.50. If the actual Jobseeker's Allowance (including dependents) you were getting is €188 a week or less, then you will get the minimum Gateway weekly rate of €210.50 (that is €188 plus €22.50). If your actual weekly Jobseeker's Allowance (including dependents) is €188.01 or more, then you will get the equivalent rate plus €22.50.
The rules that apply to Jobseeker’s Allowance also apply to the Gateway payment. In order to avoid any possible overpayments, if there is any change in your circumstances, you should inform your County and City Council and your local social welfare office as soon as possible. One example of a change in your circumstances would be if your dependent got a job. Their income would be assessed as means and your Gateway payment might be reduced. It cannot be reduced below the minimum rate of €210.50.
Participants will retain secondary benefits and medical card provided they remain eligible.
Tax and PRSI
The Gateway payment is taxable but the amount payable depends on individual circumstances.
A class A PRSI contributions will be paid on behalf of all participants. Those earning more than €352 a week will pay a PRSI contribution of 4% on all earnings.
Participants on Gateway are exempt from the Universal Social Charge.
County and City Councils
The work placements are identified and provided by the County and City Councils. County and City Councils must provide good quality work opportunities that are of benefit to the community.
How to apply
There is no application process for unemployed people who are eligible for this scheme. Potential participants will be randomly selected and contacted by their social welfare local office.
County and City Councils interested in providing Gateway work placement opportunities should contact this Department via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more detailed information about Gateway in the list of FAQs on the website of the Department of Social Protection.