JobsPlus Rules and Qualifying Conditions


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Contents

PART 1: GENERAL

1.1 Description
1.2 Rationale
1.3 Form of Incentive
1.4 European Social Fund

PART 2: ELIGIBILITY OF EMPLOYER

2.1 Overview
2.2 Eligibility/Nature of business entity
2.3 Position must be new or arising from natural turnover
2.4 Start-up business and supported businesses
2.5 Businesses receiving other State supports
2.6 Employers not eligible for JobsPlus
2.7 Tax Clearance
2.8 Compliance with Minimum Wage and other employment requirements
2.9 Working Hours
2.10 Part-time employment cannot be supported
2.11 Displacement
2.12 Supporting existing employment
2.13 Cessation

PART 3: JOBSEEKER ELIGIBILITY

3.1 Jobseekers who are eligible
3.2 Casual Employees/Signing for Credits
3.3 Persons who are ineligible
3.4 Not open to Apprenticeships or person in training
3.5 Prescribed relatives
3.6 Time on a work placement, training or education schemes will count towards eligibility
3.7 Internship/JobBridge
3.8 Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD)
3.9 Jobseekers payment (former OFP)
3.10 Retention of certain secondary benefits
3.11 Childcare Support
3.12 Status of employment

PART 4: APPLICATION and APPROVAL PROCESS

4.1 General Provisions
4.2 Process for Employers
4.3 Retrospection
4.4 Decision Review Procedure
4.5 Process for Jobseeker/Prospective Employee
4.6 Duration of eligibility

PART 5: PAYMENT PROCEDURES

5.1 Duration of the support
5.2 Method of Payment

PART 6: Other Matters

6.1 Treatment of grant income for tax purposes
6.2 Periodic Verifications
6.3 Discontinuation of grant
6.4 Recoupment of grant paid in excess
6.5 Set off of Incentive
6.6 Data Protection and Freedom of Information
6.7 More Information


PART 1: GENERAL

1.1 Description

JobsPlus is a new employer Incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This Incentive will replace 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. Eligible employers who recruit full time employees on or after 1st July 2013 may apply for the Incentive. The Department of Social Protection is responsible for the JobsPlus Incentive.

1.2 Rationale

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.

1.3 Form of Incentive

The Incentive is provided in the form of a monthly cash payment to employers by electronic fund transfer from the Department of Social Protection. The rates applicable are set out in 3.1 below.

1.4 European Social Fund

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.

As part of the requirements to obtain this funding, participants under 25 should be made aware of this funding. All JobsPlus related documentation and websites should have the ESF and European Structural logo along with a statement that those under 25s are co-funded as above.


PART 2: ELIGIBILITY OF EMPLOYER

2.1 Overview

JobsPlus Incentive is operable since early July 2013 and has been available for all eligible full time recruitment on or after July 1st 2013. In general, all non-public service employers are eligible to access this Incentive, but qualifying conditions do apply. To be considered eligible, the business must be registered as a PAYE employer with the Revenue Commissioners. There are no limits to the number of eligible employees any one employer may hire under the Incentive.

2.2 Eligibility/Nature of business entity

This Incentive is open to all employers in the private (including commercial semi-state), community, and 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 such as retirements. 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.

An employer in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) may qualify for the scheme. Start-up employers may also be eligible provided their business has commenced operation.

2.3 Position must be new or arising from natural turnover

The Incentive is available to employers filling new positions or vacancies that arise as a consequence of natural turnover such as retirements. Employers will be asked to give details of their workforce prior to application, In cases where an increase in work force is not evident, an employer will be asked to provide additional information to the Department to support the application.

2.4 Start-up business and supported businesses

An employer in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) may qualify for the scheme. Start-up employers may also be eligible provided that evidence is provided that the business has commenced operations.

2.5 Businesses receiving other State supports

An employer availing of JobsPlus may be constrained in receiving aid from other State sources for the employment costs of the same employee.

An employer must declare and other State Aid received towards the employment costs of such an employee when applying to the Department. If an employer subsequently applies to any other State body (e.g. IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, County Enterprise Boards, etc) after receiving JobsPlus aid, the JobsPlus aid must be declared to that body.

Similarly an employer will restricted in receiving support under JobsPlus if they are receiving support or propose to apply for support, for other State sources to support employment (for example, publically funded positions, or where support is provided under the Community Services Programme, Community Employment).

2.6 Employers not eligible for JobsPlus

An employer deemed as a public service body within the meaning of a ‘public service body’ is not eligible for the Incentive. A person or body funded by the Oireachtas or by the Central Fund and in respect of which a public service pension scheme exists or may be made is defined as a public service body. This also includes schools, boards of management and education providers wholly or partly funded by the Department of Education and Skills.

2.7 Tax Clearance

An employer must be tax compliant. Employers must give the Department permission to check their status with the Revenue Commissioners. Employers must apply a TCAN number (Tax Clearance Access Number) at the time of application. Before a payment is made an employer’s TCAN is automatically checked and where it cannot be validated payment will not issue. Employers can obtain TCAN’s by downloading direct from www.ros.ie or through their accountant.

2.8 Compliance with Minimum Wage and other employment requirements

While the amount of pay is for agreement between the employer and employee, under the National Minimum Wage Act 2015 employees are entitled to a minimum wage and all employers recruiting under this Incentive should ensure they comply with the conditions as set out in the Act. From 01/01/2017 this is €9.25 per hour.

Before applying, an employer must be satisfied that the vacancy they wish to recruit to is available and complies with the rules and conditions of this Incentive. The employer must be fully compliant with current workplace health and safety and all other legal requirements relating to the operation of the employment. The employer has responsibility to ensure that the appropriate process is applied to placements that require Garda vetting. Employees must agree to comply with requests for Garda Vetting where necessary in accordance with the employer’s policy on Garda Vetting.

2.9 Working Hours

The job must be a full-time position. The job being offered must be for a minimum of 30 hours per week and the employee must work at least four (4) days in any seven (7) day period.

2.10 Part-time employment cannot be supported

Part-time employment and jobs which are short-term and/or seasonal are not eligible under the JobsPlus Incentive.

2.11 Displacement

Employment that is deemed to displace existing employment will be ineligible and the Department reserves the right to reclaim the payment in the event that an employer engages in any action that displaces existing employees or conspire to create a situation where employees are made redundant in order to seek financial support under JobsPlus.

2.12 Supporting existing employment

This Incentive cannot be used to support existing full time employees. Where an employer wishes to increase the hours of a part-time position thus creating a full time position, an employer will be eligible for the Incentive, subject to other conditions of the JobsPlus being met. An existing part-time employee may be supported if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for JobsPlus.

2.13 Cessation

Entitlement to the Incentive by the employer is wholly based on eligibility for a named employee and ceases immediately on termination of that employment. Where employment ceases, the employer must notify the Department immediately to cancel payment and failure to do so may result in overpayments being raised.

The Incentive will not be payable until the Department is satisfied that the employee has closed their jobseeker’s claim and is no longer in receipt of a payment.


PART 3 – JOBSEEKER ELIGIBILITY

3.1 Jobseekers who are eligible

A jobseeker must be in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment (Jobseekers Assistant (JA), Jobseekers Benefit (JB) or the Jobseekers Allowance Transition payment (JST)) for a certain period before qualifying to be supported. Eligibility must be established before employment commences,

JobsPlus Youth (Under 25 years of age) – rate of subsidy is €7,500 over two years

A jobseeker who is under 25 years of age and unemployed for at least 4 months (104 days) in the previous 6 months is eligible. This element of the Incentive is co-funded by the ESF, the YEI and the Department of Social Protection on an equal basis.

Jobseekers Allowance Transition Payment – rate of subsidy is €7,500 over two years

A jobseeker in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance Transitional Payment is eligible and no qualifying period applies.

Unemployed for 12-24 Months – rate of subsidy is €7,500 over two years

Jobseekers that are at least 12 months (312 days) unemployed in the previous 18 months are eligible. Jobseekers may not be excluded simply due to having engaged in some part-time, short-term or seasonal work in the 18 months prior to applying to JobsPlus.

Unemployed over 24 Months – rate of subsidy is €10,000 over two years

Jobseekers that are at least 24 months (624 days) on the Live Register in the previous 30 months will entitle the employer to a higher rate of payment. Jobseekers may not be excluded simply due to having engaged in some part-time, short-time or seasonal work in the 18 months prior to applying to JobsPlus.

Refugee

A programme refugee (These are persons whose refugee status is determined in the context of a resettlement programme (section 24 of the Refugee Act 1996)) in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance is eligible and no qualifying period applies. If the Refugee is in receipt of a Jobseekers payment for at least 24 months (624 days) in the previous 30 months, this will entitle the employer to the higher rate of €10,000 over two years.

3.2 Casual Employees/Signing for Credits

Jobseekers not in receipt of jobseekers payment and signing for PRSI jobseeker credits will be 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.

3.3 Persons who are ineligible

The following are not eligible for Jobsplus.

  • Those on non-Live Register payments such as illness related or One Parent Family payments (excluding Jobseekers Allowance Transition payment);
  • Persons who are in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit payment under the systematic short-time working; and
  • Persons in receipt of the Wage Subsidy Scheme are not eligible for the initiative.

3.4 Not open to Apprenticeships or person in training

The Incentive is not open to persons on apprenticeships or in training or work experience. Training/apprenticeships are not considered newly created full-time jobs under JobsPlus.

3.5 Prescribed relatives

The recruitment of prescribed relatives (parent, grandparent, stepparent, child, grandchild, step-children, siblings or half-siblings) can only be considered eligible for support under the JobsPlus incentive where the employment is deemed insurable under the Social Welfare Acts (Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 refers) and the application is approved by the Department.

3.6 Time on a work placement, training or education schemes will count towards eligibility

Persons who were in receipt of qualifying jobseeker payments or jobseekers PRSI credits who spent time on Community Employment, the Rural Social Scheme, Jobseekers Transitional Payment, Tús, Gateway, Back to Education Allowance, Back to Work Allowance, Short-term Enterprise Allowance, Springboard courses and short duration training courses provided by Solas/ETB may count this time towards the qualifying period once entitlement to qualifying jobseekers payment is re-established prior to commencing employment or the employee can verify that their financial/family circumstances have not changed during the period they were participating on one of the initiatives listed above.

If an employee has taken up employment from one of the work initiatives above, they must have been in receipt of a qualifying payment directly before they commenced participation on the initiative. Short term illness while participating on a work initiative will not affect entitlement to JobsPlus.

Employment must be taken up immediately after signing off the Live Register or on leaving/completing one of the work initiatives outlined above.

3.7 Internship/JobBridge

Persons pursuing internships under JobBridge and WPP who were in receipt of a qualifying payment prior to their internship may be employed directly from these schemes once the required qualifying period and conditions are satisfied. An employer and employee should apply online as normal in these circumstances. Once eligibility has been confirmed employment directly from an internship can be facilitated.

3.8 Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD)

Jobseekers who enter employment may be entitled to Back to Work Family Dividend which provides financial support for jobseeker with dependent child on their return to work for a period of two weeks after commencing employment. New employees will be able to access BTWFD without effecting supports available under JobsPlus. Further information on the BTWFD is available in the local Intreo Centres and local Social Welfare Offices. They will give guidance on the application process and provide the application form. The application form is available to download from www.welfare.ie.

3.9 Jobseekers payment (former OFP)

An employer will be paid €7,500 over a two year period if they recruit and retain in employment a former OFP customer whose youngest child is 14 years of age or over who transfer to a Jobseekers payment. No qualifying period applies.

3.10 Retention of certain secondary benefits

New employees under this initiative may be entitled to receive Family Income Supplement (FIS). FIS is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children which gives extra financial support to people on low pay.

People who have been unemployed for a minimum of 12 months and have a medical card may retain their Medical Card for a period of 3 years if they commence employment.

Rent and Mortgage Interest Supplements are not payable where a jobseeker or spouse is engaged in full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as working for 30 hours or more per week. Existing Rent Supplement claimants may retain entitlement, subject to a means test, whilst engaged in full-time employment provided that they have been deemed as being eligible for housing support under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

Mortgage Interest Supplement claimants may retain entitlement, subject to a means test, whilst engaged in full-time employment provided that gross household income does not exceed €317.43 per week . Mortgage Interest Supplement is retained on a tapered basis for up to 4 years. In year 1, the amount of supplement payable will be 75% of the supplement in payment prior to commencing the scheme. In year 2, it reduces to 50% and then to 25% in years 3 and 4. Any amount of Back to Work Allowance (BTWA), Family Income Supplement (FIS), PRSI, reasonable travel expenses and any childcare allowance payable on certain training courses can be disregarded in the assessment of the €317.43 weekly income limit.

3.11 Childcare Support

A new subsidised after school childcare scheme is also available to support low-income and unemployed persons to return to the workforce. It is targeted at families progressing into employment.

Child care providers, both community and commercial, are subsidised by the Government with a subvention rate of €35 per week per child care place, and parents are expected to contribute an additional €20 per week per place. The scheme will be available to customers of the Department who are long-term unemployed, including those in receipt of the Jobseekers Allowance Transition payment who of an employment opportunity and have one or more children aged 4-13 years of age who are attending primary school.

To apply for the subsidised after-school child care scheme, applicants should contact their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Office for further information and application form. The completed application form should be returned to the local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Office where the applicant will be provided with a letter confirming eligibility and the amount of after-school child care that is required. The applicant will then be referred to their nearest County Childcare Committee (CCC) who will connect them with the relevant child care providers in their area.

Existing childcare supports that are provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Individuals availing of an employment opportunity may be able to access the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme which funds to approx. 1,000 community-based non-profit child care facilities nationwide. Information on this CCS is available through the County Childcare Committees.

3.12 Status of employment

The status of the employment will be the same as any other employment and liable to PAYE, USC and PRSI.  


PART 4: APPLICATION and APPROVAL PROCESS

4.1 General Provisions

Both employers and prospective employees can apply on-line to verify eligibility for the Incentive. An application will be processed for decision provided all questions are completed to the satisfaction of the Department. The website is www.jobplus.ie.

4.2 Process for Employers

The application and decision process for employers follows a number of steps;

  1. Register on line

Once an employer decides to recruit an additional employee they complete an online application form which gathers key information such as name of company, size of workforce, bank details, economic sector of company and provide permission to the Department to check their tax clearance certificate online. The Department will review, verify the data and check the tax clearance certificate. If in order, the employer will receive a confirmation e-mail.

  1. The recruitment phase

Once the employer receives eligibility confirmation from the Department, they may proceed with their recruitment. At this stage an employer could contact his local Intreo Centre or DSP/Social Welfare Local Office for details of suitably experienced and qualified candidates for their vacancy. An employer may also wish to consider advertising their vacancy on www.jobsireland.ie

  1. Verifying candidates eligibility for JobsPlus

When an employer has conducted preliminary interviews and shortlisted candidates, they should then advise these candidates to log on to www.jobplus.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 form will confirm eligibility and rate of payment for a prospective employer. Part B should be completed by the employer should they chose to employ the candidate. The candidate should bring the two part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.

  1. The decision to hire

Once the employer identifies the most suitable candidate for the position, they complete part B of the JP1 form for that candidate, sign the declaration and return it to the Department.

The JP1 form will be processed by the Department and once all conditions are satisfied, the employer will be notified by e-mail that they have been awarded the Incentive.

  1. Payment of JobsPlus

Once the candidate is offered a position by the employer they should close their jobseeker claim either on line at www.welfare.ie or go to their local Intreo Centre/Social Welfare Local Office. Payment of JobsPlus to the employer can only commence once the Department confirms the jobseeker's claim of the employee has closed. Payments will issue monthly in arrears by EFT. Payment will be paid monthly over a 24 month period once eligibility continues.

4.3 Retrospection

Applications for jobs created on or after the 1st July 2013 are eligible for the JobsPlus Incentive. The Incentive will be awarded from a date determined by the Department once confirmation of the closure of the employee's jobseekers claim is received. No backdating of the Incentive will apply.

4.4 Decision Review Procedure

If the application is refused, or the grant payment is discontinued, the employer may request a review of the Department's decision.

The Department has put in place a process whereby decisions can be reviewed by officers not involved in the original decision. An applicant (corporate or person) or/and jobseeker who is not satisfied with a decision made under the JobsPlus Incentive may submit a written request for a review of the decision made, stating the reason why a decision is incorrect or that proper procedures were not applied.

The JobsPlus Incentive is a non statutory scheme and decisions made by the Department cannot be appealed to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

4.5 Process for Jobseeker/Prospective Employee

A jobseeker may verify their eligibility as an employee for the JobsPlus Incentive by applying on line at www.jobplus.ie.

The Department will process this request from the jobseeker and revert with eligibility status by mailing a two part JP1 form to the jobseeker - Part A of the JP1 form will confirm eligibility and rate of payment to a prospective employer should a jobseeker be employed and should be signed by the jobseeker, Part B to be completed by employer should they chose to employ the jobseeker. Where the jobseeker has been interviewed by an employer and asked to determine their eligibility for JobsPlus Incentive, the jobseeker should bring the two part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.

It is a matter for the employer to offer the position to the person they deem to be most suitable for their vacancy.

The employee must take up employment immediately after signing off the Live Register or on completing one of the work activation initiatives outlined in section 3.6 in order to satisfy the conditions of JobsPlus Incentive.

4.6 Duration of eligibility

Eligibility as an employee for JobsPlus is valid at the time it is verified by the Department. Eligibility will be re-confirmed on recruitment. Eligibility can change if there is a change in the jobseekers circumstances. Where circumstances change, a jobseeker can request an up to date verification at www.jobplus.ie.


PART 5: PAYMENT PROCEDURES

5.1 Duration of the support

The Incentive will be payable monthly in arrears over a two year period (24 monthly payments) from an approval date determined by the Department.

5.2 Method of Payment

Payment will be made monthly in arrears by Electronic Fund Transfer – no other method of payment is available. The qualifying employer must specify the receiving bank account at the time of application. A monthly remittance slip will issue to employers outlining the employees to which the incentive refers.


6: Other Matters

6.1 Treatment of grant income for tax purposes

Income received by the employer from this initiative will not be considered as revenue/income for income or corporation tax purposes.

6.2 Periodic Verifications

The Department will seek periodic verifications from employers in order to establish on-going compliance with the rules of the Incentive. The payment of the Incentive is wholly dependent on the continuing employment of the eligible employee and each approved Incentive is uniquely associated to a particular employee. The Department may request copies of salary remittance or other verifications to ensure on-going compliance. The Department and the Department of Education & Skills will carry-out some on the spot verification checks to ensure continuing compliance.

6.3 Discontinuation of grant

Should an employee cease to be employed during the period to which the Incentive covers, payment will terminate. Employers are obliged to notify the Department immediately of any termination of employment of eligible employees, even in mutual agreement circumstances.

6.4 Recoupment of grant paid in excess

The Department is obliged under public accounting and expenditure rules to recoup all grant monies paid in error or in excess and is not restricted by the circumstances giving rise to such excess in seeking recoupment.

6.5 Set off of Incentive

The grant is specific to the approved employer and employee and cannot be used to offset the cost of other employees in the same or related businesses/employment.

6.6 Data Protection and Freedom of Information

The Department will treat all information and personal data obtained as confidential. The Department, as part of its monitoring and reporting obligations, will use data provided for the operation of JobPlus carefully. The Department will only disclose information on employers and employees to other people or bodies in accordance with the law.

6.7 More Information

Further information and advice on all aspects of the JobsPlus Incentive is available by accessing www.jobplus.ie, sending an email to Jobsplusinfo@welfare.ie or by calling (071) 9672698/9672629/9672509 or by visiting any of the Department's offices.

JobsPlus Incentive is managed and administered by:

Employment Supports Services
Department of Social Protection
Ground Floor
Shannon Lodge
Carrick-on-Shannon
Co Leitrim

LoCall: 1890 927 999
Fax: (071) 9672533

Last modified:07/06/2017