Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Social Protection, today (Friday, 11
th June 2010), visited his Department’s Social Welfare Services Office, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim and met with some of the 160 staff who work at this location. The work of the Department’s Leitrim office includes: the Decision Advisory Office, Client Identity Services, Labour Market Unit, Debt Management Unit and Employment Support Services.
During his visit the Minister launched a guide to starting and staying in self employment by Trevor Topping, which has been published by the Department in conjunction with the Inishowen Partnership Company.
This guide was initially developed as a resource book for self employed people in the Inishowen area. It was then further developed in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection into a national guide. The 4
th edition launched today by the Minister has twenty five chapters dealing with areas such as market research, preparing a business plan and PRSI. Twenty thousand copies have been printed and the book is available for download on the Department of Social Protection website.
Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Social Protection said: “This publication provides very comprehensive information on all areas and aspects of self-employment, including my Department’s Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and other supports. It is written in an accessible user friendly manner. The book will be of valuable assistance to anyone in business and in particular it will give guidance to those on social welfare who want to go into business and create new opportunities for themselves. I am pleased that my Department’s Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme and the Short Term Enterprise Allowance scheme are detailed within the book.”
Minister Ó Cuív concluded: “I would like to congratulate Trevor Topping and all those involved in the production of this valuable resource. I would also like to wish all those who are thinking of taking the self-employment route or who may already have done so, every success with their business ventures.”
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme (BTWEA)
The main purpose of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is encourage the long term unemployed to develop a business while allowing them to retain a reducing proportion of their qualifying social welfare payment, plus secondary benefits, over two years (100% in year 1 and 75% in year 2). At the end of April 2010, there were 5,374 people on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.
Budget measures were introduced in this area and mainly provide for earlier access to the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance for those who want to commence a self employment business. Other recent changes to the scheme allow for someone with a new business idea who previously availed of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme and completed their entitlement, to participate a second time after a period of at least 5 years has elapsed.
Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA)
The Short Term Enterprise Allowance is payable to a person who qualifies for Jobseeker's Benefit and who wishes to commence in self employment. This allowance is payable for the duration of their Jobseeker's Benefit entitlement. At the end of April 2010, there were 1,483 on the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (introduced from 1
st May 2009).
Similar to the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme, a person who completes their entitlement may participate a second time after a period of at least 5 years has elapsed.
Further information on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and the Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) is available from:
Back to Work Allowance Section, Department of Social Protection
, Employment Support Services
, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. Telephone Number: (071) 9672698
- from all Social Welfare Offices and
- at LoCall 1890 66 22 44 (from the Republic of Ireland only) 9.30 a.m.- to 5.00 p.m. Monday To Friday
The Guide to Self Employment is available on the Publications section of the Department’s website at: