The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing
short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities
are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary
organisations in both urban and rural areas. The Tús initiative is managed by
local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta for the Department of
Social Protection, which has overall responsibility for the scheme.
Unemployed people who are eligible to participate in the scheme are selected
and contacted by the Department of Social Protection – see 'Selection
Type of project
All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme will be
community-based. The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:
- Environmental services (for example, conservation and maintenance of
- Caring services (for example, childcare, care of older people)
- General community services (for example, newsletters or information
provision for communities)
- Heritage and cultural services (for example, local heritage project)
- Para-educational services (for example, community playgroups)
Allocation of places
The places on the scheme are allocated to community and voluntary
organisations involved in the delivery of local services in urban and rural
areas – see 'Community and voluntary organisations' below. The allocation is
based on the numbers of eligible unemployed people in each local development
company or Údarás na Gaeltachta area.
To be eligible to participate in the Tús scheme you must:
- Have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 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 12 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 or Intreo centre and offered the
opportunity to participate in the scheme. Since May 2015, some Tús places can
now be filled through self-referral by potential participants.
If they agree to participate in the Tús scheme they will be referred to
their local development company or Údarás na Gaeltachta 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 Tús can take up other part-time employment provided it does
not interfere with the work and times of the Tús work placement. If
participants are offered full-time alternative work they may terminate their
work placement contract.
Refusal of work placement
Under the National Employment Action Plan someone getting Jobseeker’s
Allowance (JA) is required to take up work opportunities such as the offer of a
Tús work placement. If they refuse a work opportunity without good reason,
they may have their social welfare payment reduced or terminated. If, following
a refusal of a placement, someone’s payment is reduced or terminated they may
appeal this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days.
Participants will work for 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 12
months. They receive the same statutory annual leave and public holiday
entitlement as other employees. During the 12 months, they may have up to 2
days’ uncertified and 7 days’ certified sick leave. When the placement
finishes, they should sign on again with their local social welfare office.
They cannot participate in the Tús scheme again for 3 years.
Childcare: If you need childcare in order to participate in
the Tús scheme, you may be eligible for the After-School
Child Care (ASCC) scheme.
The minimum weekly payment for participants (based on 19.5 hours worked) is
€210.50 from January 2016.
If the actual Jobseeker’s Allowance (including dependants) you were
getting was €188 a week or less, then you will get the minimum Tús weekly
rate of €210.50 (that is €188 plus €22.50). If your actual weekly
Jobseeker’s Allowance (including dependants) was €188.01 or more, then you
will get the equivalent rate plus €22.50 (there are some exceptions to
Participants will retain any extra benefits and the medical card provided
they are still eligible.
If you have any additional income, for example, from part-time work, it will
not affect your Tús payment. However, the rules on change of circumstances
that apply to Jobseeker’s Allowance also apply to the Tús payment. In order
to avoid any possible overpayments, if there is any change in your
circumstances, you should inform your local development company or Údarás na
Gaeltachta and your local social welfare office. One example of a change in
your circumstances would be if your dependant got a job. Their income would be
assessed as means and your Tús payment might be reduced. It cannot be reduced
below the minimum rate of €210.50.
Spouses or partners and Tús
If you get a place on a Tús scheme and your spouse or partner is claiming
Jobseeker's Allowance (JA), Disability Allowance (DA) or Farm Assist in their
own right, they can claim an Increase for a Qualified Adult with their JA, DA
or Farm Assist. Your income from the Tús scheme (as a single person) is then
assessed as insurable employment against their payment.
If you are on a Tús scheme and your spouse or partner gets a place on a
Tús scheme, you will each get a single rate of the Tús payment together with
half of the Increases for a Qualified Child for any dependent children.
Tax and PRSI
The Tús payment is taxable but the amount payable depends on individual
Class A PRSI contributions will be paid for all
participants. Those earning more than €352 a week will pay a PRSI
Participants on the Tús scheme are exempt from the Universal Social