Fine Gael Local Area Representative Noel Rock has welcomed the launch of JobsPlus – 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 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.

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.

“I welcome the fact that this scheme supports the principle 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.”
“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 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,” Mr. Rock said.