Part-time Job Option

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Part-time Job Option

Participation on the Part-time Job Option is for 1 year initially with annually renewable contracts for a further 2 years, subject to annual DSP approval and the availability of places and budget.

Eligible persons under 55 years of age may be eligible for a maximum of 3 years overall participation on Community Employment (CE). Eligible persons of 55 or over may be eligible to a maximum of 6 years overall participation on CE. Persons in receipt of any of the 4 disability-linked Social Welfare payments (detailed below) may be eligible for 1 additional year's participation. Only time spent on CE since the 3rd April 2000 counts towards these participation limits.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Persons aged 35 years or over and are currently in receipt (i.e. payment received within the 7 days preceding CE commencement) of any combination of the following payments for 3 years or more:
    • Jobseekers Benefit (JB, formerly Unemployment Benefit);
    • Jobseekers Allowance (JA, formerly Unemployment Assistance);
    • Jobseekers Allowance Transition (JST);
    • One Parent Family Payment (OPFP);
    • Widows/Widowers Surviving Partner's Contributory Pension;
    • Widows/Widowers Surviving Partner's Non-Contributory Pension;
    • Deserted Wife's Benefit (DWB);
    • Farm Assist (FA).
    • Time spent in receipt of Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (BASI) can also count towards the 3 year period provided the claimant is currently in receipt of one of the above listed payments (i.e. no breaks between payments), e.g. 6 months on SWA followed immediately by 30 months on Jobseekers Allowance.
    • Time spent in receipt of Carer's Allowance can also count towards the 3-year eligibility period, but caring responsibilities must have ceased and the person must currently be in receipt of either JA, JB or OPFP.
    • Time spent on a CE-qualifying disability-related payment can count towards the 3 year period provided it is contiguous with the current social welfare payment, as listed above (i.e. no breaks), e.g. 12 months on Illness Benefit followed immediately by 24 months on Jobseekers Allowance
  • Aged 35 years or over and in receipt of any of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection (DSP):
    • Disability Allowance;
    • Blind Pension;
    • Invalidity Pension;
    • Illness Benefit for 6 months or more.
  • Ex-offenders aged 35 years or over referred by following agencies: the Probation Service; IASIO’s Services - the Linkage Service, the Gate Service and the Resettlement Service; and the Irish Prison Service. Also, Ex-offenders aged 35 and over and not referred by these Services and in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit for a period of three years or more. Time spent as a prisoner is regarded as reckonable when considering duration unemployed. In addition, prisoners released on Temporary Release are considered eligible for application.
  • Travellers aged 18 years or over, who are unemployed and in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance or One Parent Family Payment for 1 year or longer.
  • All refugees aged 18 years or over, as authenticated by the Department of Justice and Equality, in receipt of payments from the Department of Social Protection.
  • Persons aged 18 years or over inhabiting the offshore islands that are currently in receipt of a CE-qualifying paymentfor 6 months or more.
  • Persons aged 18 years or over based on evidence of an appropriate referral following an appropriate assessment of the applicant in the context of the National Rehabilitation Framework protocols.
  • Time spent on recognised training programmes (such as a SOLAS/ETB training course or VTOS course) or in prison can also be counted towards eligibility. N.B. Time spent on CE no longer counts towards continued time on CE for new entrants who commence on or after 8th October 2012. Existing PTJ participants can still have time spent on CE count as part of the qualifying period until they exit.

Please note that eligibility to participate on the Community Employment programme is linked to those in receipt of an Irish social welfare payment (where specified). Those persons not meeting the criteria under the Part-time Integration or Part-time Job Options, or who are signing for credits, or are receiving social welfare benefits from a different country, are not eligible to participate on Community Employment. Note: Note: For JA or JB recipients, a maximum of 30 worked days in each of the 3 qualifying years prior to commencing a Community Employment Scheme will be allowed in assessing eligibility. Persons engaged on the JobPath programme are ineligible for CE.


  • Persons availing of the Tús, Gateway, Rural Social Scheme, Springboard, Momentum or JobBridge programmes, or receiving Back to Education Allowance (BTEA), Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) or Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) may not commence or simultaneously participate on Community Employment (CE).
  • Time spent on Tús, Rural Social Scheme, Springboard, Momentum, JobBridge, Back to Education Allowance or Back to Work Enterprise will not count towards the qualifying period for eligibility to CE. Entry to CE following any of these programmes is not considered as a suitable or valid progression. The only exceptions to this rule are:
    • if the BTEA was being received for second-level education purposes.
    • Tús participants who have completed 52 weeks on that programme can progress onto CE for a maximum of one year where it is considered appropriate within the context of an agreed progression plan mediated by Intreo/DSP Employment Services.
    • Ex-Tús participants who sign back on the Live Register can have their previous time on the Live Register combined with their current claim and qualify as Jobseeker clients for CE in the normal way (Tús participation is disregarded).
    • Time spent on Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) can count towards the CE qualifying period.
  • Progression from CE to any of these programmes (excluding Tús and Gateway) is considered as a suitable and valid progression. Please note a person cannot have a JobBridge placement with the same employer that they have already had a CE placement with.
  • Current CE participants can avail of 3rd level Springboard programmes at zero cost. The CE Supervisor will follow the ILP process and on reaching agreement with the CE participant on the course choice, the CE Supervisor should refer the participant to the appropriate Intreo/Employment Services Case Officer. The Springboard course can then be input and approved by the DSP Community Development Officer via the ILP system.
  • Time spent as a qualified adult dependant on another person's claim does not count towards CE eligibility.

Spousal Swap

  • N.B. Spousal Swap. The spousal swap eligibility criterion will cease with effect from 16th September 2013 for new entrants. Participants currently on this eligibility criterion are unaffected.

Re-Entry to Community Employment

For a person who has exited CE to be considered for re-entry to Community Employment, 12 months need to have elapsed since any previous participation and he/she must have been on the Live Register for that 12-month period. This is subject to availability of places and compliance with the CE participation time limits. Participants being re-engaged (rollovers) are excluded from this requirement of a 12-month break between projects.

Last modified:04/09/2014

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