PRSI - Guidelines on Employers PRSI Exemption Scheme

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Information Leaflet




Changes to the scheme since 2003



The Employer's PRSI Exemption scheme exempts the employer from their share of the PRSI contribution in respect of workers for the first two years of their employment. An exemption certificate is issued in respect of each employee who qualifies under the scheme. The employees' PRSI contributions are payable in the normal way.

There is no limit on the number of people whom the employer can employ under the scheme.

Information Leaflet

Employer's PRSI Exemption Scheme - SW 73


The main provisions relating to the Employers PRSI Exemption Scheme are

  • Chapter 2, Section 13 (9) of Part II of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, as amended, and
  • Social Welfare (Employer' Pay-Related Social Insurance Exemption Scheme) Regulations, 1996. (S.I. No. 145 of 1996) (now revoked)
  • Social Welfare Employers' Pay-Related Social Insurance Exemption Scheme Regulations 2003 (S.I. 452 of 2003)

Employers PRSI Exemption Scheme
Floor 2
Shannin Lodge
Co. Leitrim

Tel. (071) 9672531/9672529
Fax. (071) 9672533


Qualification Criteria

The qualifying conditions for participation on the scheme are that:

  • the employee, commencing work on or after 16 September 2003 with the employer for whom the exemption refers, is in receipt of the Back to Work Allowance for the first time on the date of commencement of employment with that employer
  • the employer submits a current Tax Clearance Certificate or C2 card

Applications for the Employer PRSI Exemption in respect of employees taking up work before the 16 September 2003 continue to be covered under S.I. 145 0F 1996.

Duration of the exemption

The exemption is granted for a maximum of two years from the date of commencement of employment by the qualified employee. In the event of the employee ceasing employment the exemption ceases. As the employee will not satisfy the qualifying condition again i.e. be in receipt of the BTWA for the first time on commencement of employment, the exemption cannot be allowed in respect of that employee at a future date.

For the purposes of the scheme "ceasing employment" does not include employment interrupted by Temporary lay off, or in cases where the employee claims a Social Welfare payment such as Disability Benefit or Maternity Benefit. However in these situations the period of the exemption still remains that which is stated on the Exemption Certificate. Under no circumstances may the exemption be extended beyond this date.


Claims are incorporated on the employees' application form for the Back to Work Allowance Scheme (BTW1)). If the employee is granted the Back to Work Allowance for the first time (re-starts do not apply) an exemption is granted - subject to the employer submitting a current Tax Clearance Certificate or C2 card. The Exemption Certificate is sent to the employer indicating the Employers name, and Registered No., employee's name, Personal Public Service No. and the period of exemption.

Claims are dealt with centrally in Employers' PRSI Exemption Scheme Section. For applications resulting from BTWA awards dealt with by Local Offices, the BTW 1 form should be photocopied and forwarded to Employers' PRSI Exemption Scheme Section, Floor 2, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.


The PRSI Exemption Scheme is a non-statutory scheme and, as such, decisions are not appealable to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. A person who is not satisfied with a decision may request (in writing) a review by the officer in charge of the section, enclosing any new evidence in support of a review.

Appendix 1

Changes to the scheme

16 September 2003: Change in qualifying conditions of the scheme ( S.I. 145 of 1996 covers pre 16/9/03 conditions). Before this date an employer had to employ extra eligible workers who had to be 23 years and over and receipt of UA/UB/OPFP or recruited within 14 days of signing off the Live Register or under 23 and taking up full time permanent employment for the first or in receipt of Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension.

Last modified:01/07/2010

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