Legislation for Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed is passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas – Minister Doherty

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Legislation for Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed is passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas – Minister Doherty


Wednesday, 16 October, 2019:
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., steered a Bill providing for a new social insurance scheme of Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed (JBSE) through its final stages in the Dáil tonight.
Once signed by the President, the new Act will provide for support to self-employed PRSI contributors who lose their businesses and are no longer engaged in self-employment with the scheme commencing in November 2019.
Minister Doherty commented:

“When the economy crashed in 2008, many suffered. Self-employed traders such as plumbers, electricians and painters all around the country suddenly found themselves with no work and with very little support from the State. This new scheme will rectify that situation and create more fairness in our system of supports for those who create jobs for themselves and others.
“This measure is very much in keeping with this Government's policy of supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship and builds on other significant improvements for the self-employed in recent years, such as access to Invalidity Pension and Treatment Benefits.

Many of the features of the existing Jobseeker’s Benefit available to employees will apply to the new scheme. These include:

  • Rates of payment will also be the same as those paid to employees receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit - currently €203 max. personal rate per week. Payments, including increases for qualified adults and children will also be made in line with that in place for existing Jobseekers Benefit.
  • Payments will be subject to tax, in line with the current Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme for employees. 


A self-employed person who loses their self-employment will have to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the new scheme including satisfying a PRSI contribution requirement. They will have access to the full range of activation supports available to all jobseekers such as referral to group information sessions, one to one interviews with caseworkers and subsequent caseworker support.


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Last modified:17/10/2019