JobsPlus – New Jobs, Less Cost


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New scheme launched to incentivise employers to hire persons who are long-term unemployed

JobsPlus is a new employer incentive scheme operated by the Department of Social Protection which will incentivise businesses to hire jobseekers from the Live Register, boost job creation and reduce long-term unemployment.

The innovative scheme is focused on people who are long-term unemployed, and will see the State cover approximately €1 in €4 of the typical cost of hiring someone who has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton launched the scheme at the premises of Eishtec(* see Note) in Waterford City today (Monday 8th July 2013).

Under the scheme, regular cash payments will be made to employers to offset wage costs where they employ persons who have been on the Live Register for more than 12 months.

The incentive will be payable, on a monthly basis, over a two-year period and will provide two levels of payment:

  • a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months; and
  • €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "The Government will do everything in its power to ensure that work always pays. As we help jobseekers into work we need to make sure that those on the dole are at the top of the queue when new job opportunities come along. Making sure that a recovery in jobs does not bypass the long-term unemployed will be one of the biggest challenges facing the country. The new JobsPlus scheme is another step forward on Ireland's path to recovery by incentivising employers to take on long-term jobseekers who might otherwise find it difficult to get their foot in the door."

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: "There is no greater or more urgent priority for this Government than jobs. Having returned stability to the economy and provided some certainty for businesses, our common focus has to be on helping people who are currently seeking work into the jobs that are being created. As a Government and as a society, our post-crisis objective must be full employment, which means unemployment down to 5%, by 2020."

Minister Joan Burton said: "The JobsPlus scheme is replacing the Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption and Revenue Job Assist schemes. I listened to the views expressed by employers when I conducted employer road-shows last year and employers perceived the old schemes as being complicated and involving too much red tape. These views are borne out in the low take-up of these schemes which convinced me that a simple, easily understood and attractive scheme that will encourage employers to recruit people who are long-term unemployed is needed. JobsPlus is such a scheme and I have structured it in a way that will bias the incentive in favour of people who are long-term unemployed."

Minister Richard Burton said: "New jobs at less cost sums up perfectly the ambition behind JobsPlus. In my view, it is one of the most innovative and potentially impactful of the actions contained in the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs. Again and again as I meet employers around the country they have said that they would like to see a simple and easy to understand incentive to help with the cost of new recruitment. JobsPlus is just that, and I believe it can tilt the scales in favour of employers making the decision both to recruit extra staff and to do so from the many talented people who are now, regrettably, long-term unemployed."

JobsPlus is a key element of both the Action Plan for Jobs, the Government strategy to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, and Pathways to Work, the Government strategy to ensure that as many as possible of these newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.

From an employer perspective, the typical value of the incentive over a two-year period is circa 23% of the gross minimum wage cost (including employer PRSI) for a person exiting the Live Register to commence full-time employment.

In order to qualify for JobsPlus, the employer must offer full-time employment of over 30 hours per week, spanning at least four days per week to eligible recruits. Eligible employers must be compliant with Irish tax and employment law. Employees must be on the payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI. Any jobseeker who has been in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment from the Department of Social Protection for 12 months or more will be considered eligible to be recruited under this incentive.

JobsPlus is open to all employers in the private (including commercial semi-state), community, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors. The incentive will be available to employers when filling new positions or vacancies that arise as a consequence of natural turnover.

Minister Burton concluded: "Much of the application and approval process for JobsPlus will be done online at www.jobsplus.ie. Furthermore, employers can avail of services at their local Intreo Centre or employment services office where they can source suitably experienced and qualified candidates for their vacancy or advertise their vacancy on www.jobsireland.ie. Unlike the old schemes, JobsPlus offers immediate cash benefits to employers to help them grow their business and expand their workforce into the future. I would encourage employers wishing to grow their business to use these services and use the JobsPlus scheme to benefit their business and the jobseeker."

ENDS

*Note - About Eishtec:
Eishtec, an outsourced contact centre providing tailored solutions to businesses, has availed of previous Government incentive schemes to recruit staff and is expected to be among the firms availing of JobsPlus.

 


Overview of JobsPlus
JobsPlus is a new employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to people who are long-term unemployed. This incentive replaces the Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption and Revenue Job Assist schemes from 1st July 2013. Regular cash payments will be made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs where they engage jobseekers from the Live Register.

JobsPlus is designed to encourage employers and businesses to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been out of work for long periods. The level of payment is increased for the recruitment of those out of work for more than two years.

JobsPlus will provide two levels of payment: a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months; and €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. The new incentive will be payable monthly in arrears.

Eligible employers who recruit full time employees on or after 1st July 2013 may apply for the incentive, which will initially operate on a pilot basis for a period of six months.

Questions and Answers

  1. What is JobsPlus?
  2. JobsPlus is a new employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This incentive replaces the Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption and Revenue Job Assist schemes from 1st July 2013. Regular cash payments will be made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs where they engage jobseekers from the Live Register.

    In order to qualify an employer must offer full time employment of at least 30 hours per week, spanning at least four days per week to eligible recruits (i.e. that employee must be on payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI).

  3. What is the value of the JobsPlus incentive?
  4. The incentive will provide two levels of payments biased in favour of people who are long term unemployed: a payment of €7,500 over two years to an employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months; and €10,000 over two years to an employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months.

  5. How will the incentive be paid?
  6. Payment will be made monthly in arrears by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) – no other method of payment is available. A qualifying employer must specify the receiving bank account at the time of application. A monthly remittance slip will issue to employers outlining the employees to which the JobsPlus incentive refers.

  7. When does the JobsPlus incentive start?
  8. Eligible employers who recruit full time employees on or after 1st July 2013 may apply for JobsPlus, which will initially operate on a pilot basis for a period of six months.

  9. I am an employer – how do I apply to fill a vacancy with JobsPlus support?
  10. Once an employer decides to recruit an additional employee they can log on to www.jobsplus.ie and complete an online application form which gathers basic information such as name of company, size of workforce, bank details, economic sector of company and includes providing permission for an officer of the Department of Social Protection to check their tax clearance certificate online. Once this is submitted an officer of the Department will review, check the tax clearance certificate is in order and if approved will respond promptly to the employer via e-mail.

  11. What is the next step once I’ve registered?
  12. Once an employer receives eligibility confirmation from the Department they may proceed with their recruitment. At this stage an employer could contact his local Intreo Centre or employment services office for details of suitably experienced and qualified candidates for their vacancy. An employer may also wish to consider advertising their vacancy on www.jobsireland.ie.

  13. When and how do I ascertain whether my job candidates are eligible employees under the JobsPlus incentive?
  14. When an employer has conducted preliminary interviews and shortlisted candidates they should then advise these candidates to log on to www.jobsplus.ie to determine their eligibility for the incentive as an employee. The Department of Social Protection will process this request from the candidate and revert to candidates with eligibility status by mailing a two part JP1 form to the candidate - Part A of the JP1 form will confirm eligibility and rate of payment for a prospective employer, Part B to be completed by employer should they chose to employ the candidate. The candidate should bring the two part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.

  15. I have chosen my preferred candidate(s) for the job, what do I do next?
  16. Once you offer the position to the successful candidate, they should close their Jobseeker’s claim online at www.welfare.ie or by going to their local Intreo Centre/Social Welfare Local Office. Payment of JobsPlus to the employer can only commence once the Department confirms the Jobseeker’s claim of the employee has closed.

  17. Is there a limit on the number of people that an employer can employ under the JobsPlus scheme?
  18. JobsPlus is being launched initially on a pilot basis. There are no limits to the number of eligible employees any one employer may hire under the incentive. The associated budget for the scheme is set at a level that would support in the region of 2,500 jobs in this pilot phase.

  19. I get very busy for the summer months and would like to hire somebody to work full-time for the summer months – am I eligible to apply for the JobsPlus incentive?
  20. No. Part-time employment and jobs which are short-term and/or seasonal will not be eligible under the JobsPlus incentive.


  21. Is the incentive open to all types of employment?
  22. An employer deemed as a public service body within the meaning of ‘a public service body’ is not eligible for the scheme. A person or body funded by the Oireachtas or by the Central Fund and in respect of which a public service pension scheme exists or may be made is defined as a public service body.

  23. What will the Department do to ensure that existing employees are not let go and replaced with jobseekers recruited with the support of the JobsPlus scheme?
  24. In circumstances where the new employment does not represent an increase in an employer’s workforce, the employers must explain why. Vacancies as a result of natural turnover such as retirement are considered eligible jobs under JobsPlus. Employment that is deemed to displace existing employment will be ineligible and the Department reserves the right to reclaim the payment in the event that an employer engages in any action that displaces existing employees.

    JobsPlus cannot be used to support existing employees or to offer additional working hours to employees that are on short-time or reduced hours of work.

  25. I am getting the Revenue Job Assist and the Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme for existing employees can they transfer to JobsPlus Incentive?
  26. The Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme and the Revenue Job assist awarded for existing employee will remain in place for the duration specified at the time of award - they will not transfer to the new JobsPlus incentive. If you take on additional eligible employees after 1st of July you may qualify under the JobsPlus incentive. You may have people in your employment under both schemes.

  27. How can JobsIreland.ie help me to fill a vacancy in my company?
  28. The Jobs Ireland recruitment service is a support resource when your company is recruiting, both now and in the future. With a highly experienced team of recruitment professionals, Jobs Ireland can give you instant access to their national database of skilled and job-ready candidates. They offer a number of avenues to help you find the optimum candidate. Your vacancy can be advertised on their website (www.jobsireland.ie); on their Jobseeker App and through their nationwide network of offices.

  29. What other services does the Department of Social Protection offer to employers?
  30. The Department provides a range of supports and services to employers which are provided free of charge. An employer Information Pack which can be accessed at www.welfare.ie provides information to employers about these services which include;

    • Recruitment Service and Employment Schemes including;
      • Jobs Ireland Recruitment Service
      • European Recruitment Service (EURES)
      • JobBridge – The National Internship Scheme
    • Grants & Assistance schemes including;
      • JobsPlus
      • Part Time Job Incentive Scheme
      • Family Income Supplement (FIS)
    • Workplace Support Schemes including;
      • Disability Awareness Training Support Scheme
      • Wage Subsidy Scheme
      • Reasonable Accommodation Fund for the Employment of People with Disabilities

     

  31. I am a jobseeker – how do I know if I’m eligible to apply for a vacancy which is supported by JobsPlus?
  32. A jobseeker may verify their eligibility as an eligible employee for JobsPlus by applying online at www.jobsplus.ie

    To qualify as an eligible employee for the €7,500 incentive a jobseeker must be at least 12 months (312 days) on the Live Register in the previous 18 months. To qualify as an eligible employee for the higher incentive of €10,000 a jobseeker must be at least 24 months (624 days) on the Live Register in the previous 30 months. This ensures jobseekers who may have engaged in some part time or seasonal work are not excluded as eligible employees under this incentive.

    The Department will process a request for confirmation of eligibility from the jobseeker and revert with eligibility status by mailing a two part JP1 form to the jobseeker. Where the jobseeker has been interviewed by an employer and asked to determine their eligibility for JobsPlus incentive, the jobseeker should bring the two part JP1 form confirming eligibility to the employer for consideration.

    Part A of the JP1 form will confirm eligibility and rate of payment to a prospective employer should a jobseeker be employed and should be signed by the jobseeker. Part B will be completed by an employer should they chose to employ the jobseeker.

    It is a matter for the employer to offer the position to the person they deem to be most suitable for their vacancy.

    The incentive will not be payable until an officer of the Department of Social Protection is satisfied that the employee has closed their Jobseeker’s claim and is no longer in receipt of a payment.

  33. Is time spent on training courses or programmes e.g. on a CE scheme, included when deciding on eligibility of a jobseeker?
  34. If the jobseeker was in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or signing for credits, prior to spending time spent on Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment, Tús, Back to Education Allowance, Springboard course or short FÁS courses, this time may count towards the qualifying period, once entitlement to one of the qualifying payments outlined above is re-established prior to commencing employment.

    In addition, persons pursuing internships under JobBridge and the Work Placement Programme may be employed directly from these schemes once the required qualifying period and conditions are satisfied.

  35. Will I lose all of my social welfare payments and secondary benefits if I take up employment with an employer under the JobsPlus scheme?
  36. An eligible employee under JobsPlus may be entitled to receive Family Income Supplement (FIS). FIS is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children which gives extra financial support to people on low pay.  As JobsPlus is payable to the employer it does not prevent you from claiming FIS. If you are signing off the Live Register and meet the other conditions for FIS in terms of hours worked (at least 19 hours per week) etc. you may be eligible for FIS.

    In addition, people who have been unemployed for a minimum of 12 months may retain their Medical Card for a period of 3 years if they commence employment. The Medical Card scheme is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

    Rent and Mortgage Interest Supplements are not payable where a jobseeker or their spouses are engaged in full-time employment (defined as working for 30 hours or more per week).  However, existing Rent Supplement customers may retain entitlement, subject to a means test, while engaged in full-time employment as long as they are eligible for housing support under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

  37. I have not been offered a job – however, I would like to check my eligibility as an employee on www.jobsplus.ie and alert prospective employers to the incentives available should they employ me on a full time basis.
  38. In the absence of a job offer, a jobseeker may apply on-line at www.jobsplus.ie to verify their eligibility as a prospective employee under the JobsPlus incentive. If a jobseeker is confirmed as eligible they may use this verification to alert prospective employers of the benefits available to them should they decide to hire you into full time employment.

    The Department of Social Protection’s verification of eligibility is valid at the time of issue. If your circumstances change, it may render the verification invalid. In such circumstances you may apply to www.jobsplus.ie for an up to date verification.

  39. Where can I get more information about JobsPlus?
  40. Further information and advice on all aspects of the JobsPlus incentive is available:

ENDS

 

 

       

 
 

 

 
Last modified:08/07/2013
 

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