Tús – Community work placement initiative

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                                                         Tús – Community work placement initiative




  • 1.1. Description of Initiative
  • 1.2. Information Leaflet
  • 1.3. Legislation
  • 1.4. Administration


  • 2.1. Entitlement
  • 2.2. Eligibility and Qualifying Conditions
  • 2.3. Selection
  • 2.4. Exemptions
  • 2.5. Duration of Placement
  • 2.6. Rates of Payment
  • 2.7. Arrangements for Persons on Age reduced Social Welfare Payments
  • 2.8. Social Welfare Payment Ceases
  • 2.9. PRSI Contribution
  • 2.10. Changes in pay resulting from a Change in Circumstances
  • 2.11. Secondary benefits
  • 2.12. Hours of work and nature of work
  • 2.13. Disqualification


  • 3.1. Eligible Organisations
  • 3.2. Ineligible Organisations
  • 3.3. Work measures


Contact details for Implementing Bodies



1.1. Description of Initiative

Tús is a community work placement initiative announced in Budget 2011, which became operational during mid-2011. The initiative is one of a number of activation measures designed to provide work placement opportunities for people who are unemployed. The processes underpinning the operation of Tús support the management of the Live Register. Up to 5,000 work placements opportunities were initially announced, with an additional 2,500 Tús placements announced as part of the 2013 Budget package, in line with the commitments set out in the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work.

Tús provides opportunities for people who are unemployed to break the cycle of joblessness and helps to improve a person’s work readiness and support them in returning to the labour market. In addition, it is hoped that participation on Tús will boost a person’s motivation and confidence, offer them opportunities to experience different work environments and provide them with employment related experience to re-enter the labour market.

In summary, Tús

  • Is an activation initiative for those who are unemployed and on the Live Register;
  • Supports the work readiness of those who participate;
  • Provides short-term and suitable work opportunities for people who are unemployed while at the same time carrying out beneficial work within communities, and
  • Contributes to the Department’s obligations to manage the Live Register.
  • Supports the development and delivery of services to improve community wellbeing.

1.2. Information Leaflet

The Department has not published a separate information leaflet on Tús. Information is available on www.welfare.ie.

1.3. Legislation

Tús is a non statutory initiative approved by Government as part of the measures announced in Budget 2011 and launched on 21st December 2010. The functions of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection in respect of employment schemes and related schemes and programmes are set out in Part 3 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2010 (Number 37 of 2010).

1.4. Administration

The initiative is delivered and managed at local level through the network of local development companies (sometimes referred to as Partnership or Leader companies). Údarás na Gaeltachta delivers and manages the initiative in Gaeltacht areas. These companies are collectively known as the Implementing Bodies (IBs). Each IB has been awarded a specific quota of Tús placements at both supervisory and participant level, based on the distribution of the Live Register. A list of the companies and the areas they cover is included in the Appendix to these Guidelines.

The IBs manage the day-to-day implementation of Tús and the supervision of participants on behalf of the Department. They are also responsible for advertising and promoting the initiative and identifying suitable work placements and community groups in their respective geographical locations. IBs are responsible for evaluating and selecting organisations which wish to provide work opportunities.

Policy and general operational responsibility rests with the Tús Unit within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). This unit is based in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim. The contact details for the Unit are:

Tús Unit
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Shannon Lodge,
Carrick on Shannon
Co. Leitrim

Tel: 071 - 9672530

LoCall: 1890 927 999

Fax: 071 - 9672553

The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

Email: tusinfo@welfare.ie


2.1. Entitlement

A person has no entitlement to participate on Tús. Selection is by way of random selection conducted by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection based on the eligibility conditions set out in section 2.2. A person may apply for self selection, subject to conditions.

2.2. Eligibility and Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility is confined to those on the Live Register for at least 12 months and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance. These provisions are to ensure a targeted approach to those who are long-term unemployed. Persons falling within the eligibility criteria can be randomly selected for participation.

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
    • been receiving a jobseeker's payment (Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance) from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for at least 312 days in the twelve months immediately prior to commencing on the scheme;
    • and be currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance. 


    • Persons in receipt of Jobseekers Transitional Payment  (in receipt of  OFP immediately prior to transferring to JST) and who are fully unemployed  – (no qualifying period applies in this case).


    • A refugee aged 18 years or older, authenticated by the Department of Justice & Law Reform (Garda Registrar Certificate with Stamp 4) and getting Jobseekers Allowance payment (no qualifying period applies).

    Time spent on JobPath can count towards the qualifying time for Tús providing the person is currently receiving Jobseekers Allowance. Also, time spent in prison in this State may count towards the qualifying time for Tús providing the person is currently receiving Jobseekers Allowance. 

    2.3. Selection

    Potential Tús participants are identified by random selection by DEASP. Once randomly selected, the DEASP write to each suitable person selected, offering them the opportunity to be considered for a work placement opportunity and requesting their consent to have their contact details shared with the named IB operating in their area should they agree to participate. Those agreeing to participate and to having their contact details shared with the IB are then referred to the relevant IB. The IB will then contact the potential participant and invite them for an initial assessment interview to determine their interest, work and educational background and other relevant facts in order to attempt to find a suitable work placement.

    The majority of people referred for Tús are selected on a random basis by the Department, 30% of available places can be filled by assisted or self-referral  since November 2018. The assisted/self-referral affords a number of customers who fulfil the qualifying criteria the opportunity to avail of short-term quality work placements and break the cycle of unemployment.

    The 30% allocation is available to the Case Officers but it is up to each individual Division/Case officer whether they avail of it (if divisions do not get the 30% quota of assisted/self-referrals, they are not obliged to meet this target and remaining places must be filled by random selection).

    If a customer completes and submits a Tús Assisted/self-referral form, it must be followed up on.  

    2.4. Exemptions

    In general, no exemptions to participating on Tús are provided. However, subject to certain conditions and provision of documentary proof a person may seek not to take up the offer of a work placement on Tús if they are to take up employment, or engage in other activation, training or education measures.

    2.5. Duration of Placement

    Placements are for a maximum duration of 52 weeks. Participants are required to complete the 52 weeks placement unless they wish to take up an offer of full-time employment, education or training. Having completed a 52 week placement on Tús, a participant cannot subsequently re-participate on Tús for a minimum of 3 years.

    2.6. Rates of Payment

    Tús participants will receive a payment equivalent to their existing Jobseeker’s payment plus a ‘top-up’ of €22.50 per week, with a minimum payment of €225.50. Participants may receive extra allowances in respect of a qualified adult and qualified child(ren).

    2.7. Arrangements for Persons on Age reduced Social Welfare Payments

    Persons aged under 26 years, in receipt of an age related Jobseeker’s Allowance will receive the full rate while participating on Tús and then revert to the applicable age related rate following the completion of their Tús work placement.

    2.8. Social Welfare Payment Ceases

    Participants do not continue to receive social welfare payments for the duration of their engagement on Tús.

    2.9. PRSI Contribution

    Tús is regarded as income for income tax purposes; however, participants are exempt from paying the Universal Social Charge (USC). A PRSI contribution (‘A’ rate) is paid in respect of each participant by their employer and an employee PRSI contribution is only applicable when weekly earnings are over €352.00. Those earning in excess of €352.00 will pay a PRSI rate of 4% on their total income. The IBs will inform the Revenue Commissioners as participants commence on Tús and Revenue will then allocate the appropriate tax credits and Tax Bands in respect of each individual participant. Participants are paid directly into their bank accounts by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on a weekly basis.

    2.10. Changes in pay resulting from a Change in Circumstances

    Participants are under an obligation to advise the IB of any change in circumstances that may impact on the value of their weekly payment. The rate of payment is calculated by reference to the underlying value of the social welfare payment prior to taking up engagement on Tús.

    2.11. Secondary benefits

    Participation does not result in loss of secondary benefits such as medical card, fuel allowance, back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance. Entitlement to secondary benefits will be subject to the usual assessment processes operated by the appropriate Scheme Area of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or relevant Authority. Participants on Tús will still be required to meet the terms and conditions attached to the secondary benefits, as set out in order to continue to qualify for any such payments. Entitlement to fuel allowance cannot be established after you commence on Tús.

    The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for Medical Cards and entitlement is dependant on personal circumstances. Applicants in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance for a period of 12 months or more are entitled to retain their Medical Card for three years on taking up employment from the date on which the employment commenced.

    2.12. Hours of work and nature of work

    Participants work 19½ hours per week for 52 weeks. Work placements are a valuable route for participants to gain or update experience of the workplace, to learn new skills and to return to the routine of work.
    Participants provide resources to maintain and improve local amenities and facilities in rural and urban communities with inputs being funded either by Tús itself or local community fund-raising or other income. Communities in turn benefit from the skills and talents of local people with a diverse repertoire of skills and abilities.

    2.13. Disqualification

    Participants are not encouraged to exit Tús before completing 12 months unless it is to take up full-time employment or education. In cases where an individual exits Tús for reasons other than the taking up of full-time employment or education, they may be penalised by being disqualified from receiving a Jobseeker’s Allowance payment for up to nine weeks under the provisions of Section 147(4) of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005.


    3.1. Eligible Organisations

    IBs play the lead-role in identifying organisations to provide placement opportunities. Those organisations eligible to participate must be:

    • Community, voluntary and not-for-profit in nature, including IBs, other than Údarás na Gaeltachta; and
    • Have a recognised informal (parish/community committee, trade, sporting, cultural or other association) or formal/legal structure (a company limited by guarantee, not-for-profit co-operative or friendly society where profits or surpluses are not distributed to members); and
    • Demonstrate a track record of working with or providing services to and within their communities; and
    • Demonstrate a capability of managing a participant in a placement with the supervisory support of the Implementing Body.

    Community organisations engaged in the provision of local services with the support of other publicly supported programmes such as the Community Services Programme, Community Employment Scheme, Jobs Initiative and/or the Rural Social Scheme and voluntary organisations funded by the Health Services Executive or by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs are considered eligible insofar as the placements do not displace or substitute employment supported under relevant programmes. Additionally, Citizens Information Centres and Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) are eligible.

    3.2. Ineligible Organisations

    Public bodies (local authorities, voluntary education committees, Health Service Executive) or the functions that are the statutory responsibility of these bodies are not eligible for support. Similarly, individuals, sole traders, corporate or private bodies, commercial entities (for profit bodies or organisations) offering work placements are not considered to be eligible work placement providers for this initiative. Fee paying schools and colleges are not eligible for support.

    3.3. Work measures

    In general, all works and services undertaken or delivered by the community and voluntary sectors for the benefit of the general community or specific sectors can be considered eligible. Selected opportunities will fall within, and not be restricted, to the following broad categories of work:

    Environmental services, to include

    • Energy conservation work in low income homes and community buildings
    • Renovation of community and sporting facilities
    • Development, regeneration and enhancement of community spaces, gardens, parks, leisure areas, including sport grounds and school grounds where services are not otherwise provided
    • Neighbourhood, village and countryside enhancement, including clean-up
    • Recycling and repair of equipment, including furniture, tools, bicycles, and IT items

    Caring services, to include

    • Social care for all persons with such needs
    • Personal aide to any person with particular needs due to ill-health, limited or restricted mobility
    • Services for children in crèches and childcare settings
    • Preparation and delivery of meals for older people or those with limited income
    • Visitation, friendly call and befriending programmes for older people, those with mental health needs and those confined to home

    General community services, to include

    • Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
    • Administration, web design, social media, reception, production of newsletters
    • Community research and evaluation, including genealogy
    • Event management, promotion and administration
    • Retail services in charity or community settings
    • Promotion and support for volunteering

    Heritage and cultural services, to include

    • Promotion of the Irish language and cultural activities
    • Development and maintenance of walking, cycling and leisure trails
    • Administration, marketing and promotion of local heritage sites and events
    • Staffing of cultural, tourism and heritage centres

    Para-educational services, to include

    • Administration, caretaking and other non-teaching or classroom supports
    • Services for children in crèches and childcare settings
    • Early years and after-school supports for children and young people
    • Literacy, numeracy and related supports for adults and children or those with limited command of the English or Irish languages
    • Assistance with recreational opportunities for adults/young people including coaching, training, art/music classes
    • Actions to develop or support the school completion programme and related initiatives



    Contact details for Implementing Bodies

    DSP Division Implementing Body Address Phone No
    South West & Cork Central Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership Ltd The Showgrounds Fermoy   Co. Cork 025 - 33411
    Dublin Central Ballyfermot Partnership Company 4 Drumfinn Park Ballyfermot   Dublin 10 01 - 6235612
    Midwest & Southwest Ballyhoura Community  Main Street Kilfinane   Co. Limerick 063 - 91300
    Dublin North Blanchardstown Area Partnership Dillon House 106 Coolmine Business Park  Coolmine Dublin 15 01 - 8209550
    Dublin South/Mid Leinster Bray Partnership 4 Prince of Wales Terrace Quinsboro Road Bray Co. Wicklow 01 - 2868266
    North East Breffni Integrated Development Ltd. 6A Corlurgan Business park Corlurgan, Ballinagh Rd Cavan Co. Cavan 049 - 4331029
    Dublin Central Dublin South City Partnership 3-4 Agnes Road Crumlin Dublin 12 01 - 4732196
    South East Carlow County Development Partnership Limited Main Street Bagenalstown   Co. Carlow 059 - 9720733
    Dublin South/Mid Leinster Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teo Jiggingstown Commercial Centre Old Limerick Road Naas Co. Kildare 045 - 895450
    Mid West Clare Local Development Company Westgate Business Park Kilrush Road Ennis Co. Clare 065 - 6866800
    Dublin South/Mid Leinster County Wicklow Community Partnership 3rd floor, Avoca River House Bridgewater Centre Arklow Co. Wicklow 0402 - 20955
    Cork Central Comhair Chathair Chorcai Heron House Blackpool Park Blackpool Cork 021 - 4302310
    South East County Kilkenny Leader Partnership Company Ltd. 8 Patrick's Court Patrick St Kilkenny Co. Kilkenny 056 - 7752111
    Mid West Co. Sligo Leader Partnership Company Sligo Development Centre Cleveragh Road   Sligo 071 - 9141138
    North West Donegal Local Development Company 1 Millennium Court Pearse Road Letterkenny Co. Donegal 074 - 9127056
    Dublin North Fingal Leader Partnership Co. Ltd Abco Kovex House Swords Business Park Swords Co. Dublin 01 - 8077681
    West Forum Connemara Ltd Ellis Hall Letterfrack Connemara Co. Galway 095 - 41116
    West Galway City Partnership 3 The Plaza Offices Headford Road   Galway City 091 - 773466
    West Galway Rural Development Co. Mellows Campus Athenry   Co.Galway 091 - 844335
    North West Inishowen Development Partnership Pound Street Business Park Pound St., Carndonagh Inishowen Co. Donegal 074 - 9373083
    South West IRD Duhallow Ltd. James O'Keeffe Institute Newmarket   Co. Cork 029 - 60633
    Midlands South Laois Partnership Company 2 Park Villas Mountmellick Portlaoise Co. Laois 057 - 8661900
    North West Leitrim Integrated Development Company Ltd Church Street Drumshanbo   Co. Leitrim 071 - 9641770
    Midlands Longford Community Resources Limited Longford Community Enterprise Centre Ballinalee Road Longford 043 - 3345555
    North East Louth LEADER Partnership Ltd Partnership Court Park Street Dundalk Co. Louth 042 - 9330288
    ​North East ​Meath Partnership ​Ground Floor Unit 7 ​Kells Business Park ​Cavan Road, Kells ​Co. Meath ​046 - 9280790
    North East Monaghan Integrated Development Company Monaghan Road Castleblayney   Co. Monaghan 042 - 9749500
    South West North & East Kerry Leader Partnership Teo Clash Tralee   Co Kerry 066 - 7180190
    West Mayo North East Leader Ltd Lower Main Street Foxford   Co. Mayo 094 - 9256745
    Mid West North Tipperary Integrated Local Development Body 2nd Floor Friars Court Nenagh Co Tipperary 067 - 56676
    Dublin North Northside Partnership Ltd The Coolock Development Centre Bunratty Drive Coolock Dublin 17 01 - 8485630
    Midlands Offaly Integrated Local Development Company Ltd Millennium House Main Street Tullamore Co. Offaly 057 - 9352467
    Mid West PAUL Partnership Limerick Unit 25a Tait Business Centre Dominic Street Limerick 061 - 419388
    West Roscommon Integrated Development Body Unit 12, Tower B, Roscommon West Business Pk Golf Links Rd Roscommon 090 - 6630252
    Cork Central SECAD (South & East Cork Area Development) Midleton Community Enterprise Centre Owennacurra Business Park, Knockgriffin Midleton Co. Cork 021 - 4613432
    South West South Kerry Development Partnership West Main Street Caherciveen Co. Kerry 066 - 9472724
    Mid West South Tipperary Development Company Unit 2C Carrigeen Commercial Park Clogheen Road Cahir Co. Tipperary 052 - 7442652
    West South West Mayo Development Balla Co. Mayo 094 - 9366692
    Dublin South/Mid Leinster Southside Partnership DLR Ltd The Old Post Office, 7 Rock Hill, Main St Blackrock Co. Dublin 01 - 7060121
    Dublin North Dublin North West Area Partnership Rosehill House Finglas   Dublin 11 01 - 8361666
    North West, West, South West, South East & Midlands North Údarás na Gaeltachta Na Forbacha Co. na Gaillimhe 091 - 503213
    South East Waterford Area Partnership Westgate Business Park Tramore Road   Waterford 051 - 841740
    South East Waterford Leader Partnership Ltd. John Barry House, Lismore Business Park Lismore   Co. Waterford 058 - 54646
    South West & Cork Central West Cork Development Partnership Ltd. Unit D, West Cork Technology Park Clonakilty   Co. Cork 023 - 8834035
    Mid West West Limerick Resources Limited St Marys Road Newcastle West   Co. Limerick 069 - 62222
    Midlands Westmeath Community Development Enterprise Technology & Innovation Centre, Zone C Clonmore Business Park Mullingar Co Westmeath 044 - 9348571
    South East Wexford Local Development Spawell Road Wexford Town   Wexford 053 - 9155800
    Dublin South/Mid Leinster South County Dublin County Hall, Block 3 Belgard Square North Tallaght Dublin 24 01 - 4649300


Last modified:30/08/2018