A PRSI employer’s incentive scheme exempted employers from paying employers PRSI for 18 months, subject to conditions.  A job must be created.  The employee must have been

  • on an industrial training or placement program for at least three months
  • on job bridge for at least six; or
  • have been in receipt of jobseekers allowance or benefit, single-family payment or disability allowance for at least six months.

The employer must have a tax clearance certificate.

The job must be a full-time new and additional position. The new job must be for 30 hours a week and at least for six months and more.  The exemption will be clawed back if the job lasts for less than six months. Substituted and displaced employment is not permitted. A maximum of 5% of the workforce may be so employed. In the case of smaller companies, up to five new jobs are permitted.

The back to work enterprise allowance scheme, incentivizes unemployed persons and lone parents to take up self-employment. Under the scheme, part of a person’s benefits at the rate of  100% in the first year, tapering to 75% in the second year are retained.  Secondary  benefits may be retained, subject to qualification under a means test.  The allowance is neither subject to tax nor PRSI.

The back to work short term enterprise allowance is available to unemployed persons who wish to establish their own business. They may undertake self-employment activities while  retaining all or part of their benefits.

A short term enterprise allowance is paid instead of jobseekers benefit.  The allowance may be claimed until the period of entitlement to jobseekers benefit would have expired.  The allowance is subject to income tax to the same extent as jobseekers benefit.

There is an incentive scheme to incentivise the employment of persons, who have been long-term unemployed.  This is defined as a person who has been unemployed for at least 12 months in receipt of unemployment, jobseekers benefit or allowance or single-family allowance.  Time on programs, activities and courses is counted, subject to conditions,  in calculating the 12 months period.

Employers are allowed a double deduction of employment costs for the first six months of qualifying employment.  Employers’ PRSI is not payable. The employment must be for at least 30 hours a week and must capable of lasting at least 12 months.  It does not apply to employments where more than 75% of emoluments are based on commission.

There are measures to ensure that the previous holder of the position, is not unfairly substituted and that the position does not arise due to redundancy. If there has been an unfair dismissal or redundancy within the previous  twenty-six weeks the scheme is not available.

Employees may also obtain an enhanced  personal allowance and child allowance for a period of three years. This tapers over the three years. The child element is available for each qualifying child.


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