Written answers

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme

Photo of Cathal CroweCathal Crowe (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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676. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an analysis can be conducted on the back to work enterprise allowance scheme (details supplied) to adapt it to suit the tourism sector. [17053/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme offers support for people who are long-term unemployed and who are interested in self-employment as a route to entering the labour market. The BTWEA is not designed to support individuals already in self-employment. The scheme plays a vital role in supporting the development of new enterprises and supporting the first steps into self-employment for the long term unemployed.

Individuals who are currently self-employed have a range of other income support options available to them from the Department. The individual referred to by the Deputy may be entitled to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), Jobseeker's Benefit or the means-tested Jobseeker’s Allowance payment depending on their situation.

Self-employed individuals, including those in operating in the tourism sector, can engage in limited levels of self-employment and can earn up to €960 over a rolling eight week period and continue to maintain entitlement to PUP. Where a self-employed person exceeds this threshold they may apply for the Part Time Job Incentive for the self- employed scheme which enables a self-employed person who has been in receipt of the PUP to engage in self-employment for up to 24 hours per week and receive a personal weekly rate of payment of €128.60. No income threshold is applied under this support.

The Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) is also available to eligible self-employed recipients who close their PUP and reopen their business as restrictions begin to lift. A once-off grant of up to €1,000, to assist with the costs associated with reopening, is available under this measure. The grant is payable to self-employed individuals who employ fewer than 10 people, have an annual turnover of less than €1 million and who are not eligible for support from similar business reopening grants from other Departments.

I trust this clarifies the position.


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