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* 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.”