Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

JobsPlus Scheme

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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242. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if flexibility will be introduced in the eligibility criteria for the JobsPlus scheme to assist persons who have been out of work in getting back into employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17821/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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JobsPlus is a subsidy paid to employers who recruit long-term unemployed people for new positions in their workplace. Employers can avail of JobsPlus when filling new positions or positions that arise as a consequence of natural turnover and receive a subsidy of €7,500 or €10,000 per employee. The value of the grant is dependent on the age of the new employee and their duration of unemployment, over a two-year period of employment.

JobsPlus is an effective scheme in responding to unemployment. An evaluation of the scheme, undertaken jointly by the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the Department of Social Protection published in 2020, found a positive impact equivalent to a 57% reduction in the likelihood of unemployment for people who benefited from JobsPlus.

Dealing with Covid-19 presents a particular challenge to economic activity and, consequently, to employment levels. In last year’s July Jobs Stimulus, the capacity of JobsPlus was increased to 8,000 places. The qualification criteria for those under 30 years was amended, meaning they can now avail of the support after 4 months, having previously been 12 months. Time spent in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment can be counted for the purposes of eligibility for all unemployed individuals.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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243. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an appeals process will be introduced for unsuccessful applicants for the JobsPlus scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17822/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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JobsPlus is a subsidy paid to employers who recruit long-term unemployed people for new positions in their workplace. Employers can avail of JobsPlus when filling new positions or positions that arise as a consequence of natural turnover and receive a subsidy of €7,500 or €10,000 per employee. The value of the grant is dependent on the age of the new employee and their duration of unemployment, over a two-year period of employment.

With regards the right of appeal, the JobsPlus scheme is administrative (non-statutory) and therefore decisions on claims cannot be appealed to a Social Welfare Appeals Officer. However, if an applicant is dissatisfied with a decision not to award support, they may request a review of their application by a different Officer. It is open to applicants to supply any additional facts of information in support of their application.

If there is a particular case that the Deputy has a concern about, my officials would be happy to review it.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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