In an effort to stimulate employment the Department of Social Protection has a range of different schemes which offer incentives to potential employers and those out there looking for work.

So, for employers who might be looking to take someone on, either part-time or full-time, and for jobseekers, it is important to be aware of exactly what initiatives and supports are available.

Below is a summary of some of the schemes:

    JobBridge – National Internship Scheme

The JobBridge scheme provides work experience placements for interns for a 6 or 9 month period. It aims to help jobseekers who are finding difficulty to get a job without experience, either as new entrants to the labour market after education or training or as unemployed people wishing to learn new skills.

The initiative provides for work experience placements in the private, public and voluntary sectors. The employer decides which intern they take on. The intern receives an allowance of €50 per week on top of their existing social welfare entitlement payable for the period of the internship by the Department of Social Protection. Employers are not permitted to pay the intern during the internship.

    Revenue Job Assist

This scheme offers employers significant financial incentives, in the form of tax savings, to recruit long-term unemployed people. Employers under the scheme can claim extra deductions in their accounts for up to 3 years from the date the employment commences.

This double wages deduction applies to:
 Wages paid to a qualifying employee in a qualifying employment
 Employers PRSI contributions paid in respect of such wages

Qualifying jobs are jobs which are for a minimum of 30 hours per week, are capable of lasting at least 12 months and are not primarily commission based (i.e. over 75% of earnings derived from commission); other conditions do apply.

Example: Take a sole trader, liable to income tax at 41%, employing a qualifying employee in a qualifying employment on a salary of €30,000. The savings are as follows:

Year Salary PRSI Total Double Deductable @41%
1 €30,000 €3,225 €33,225 €66,450 €27,244.50
2 €30,000 €3,225 €33,225 €66,450 €27,244.50
3 €30,000 €3,225 €33,225 €66,450 €27,244.50
Total €81,733.50

    Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme

Under this scheme employers hiring additional eligible workers in 2013 will not have to pay employer’s PRSI in respect of their employment for eighteen months from the date they are approved for the scheme.

To qualify the job must be new and additional, be for at least 30 hours a week, and last for at least 6 months. The employee must be in receipt of one of the following social welfare payments for a period of at least 6 months (156 days) prior to taking up employment:

 Jobseeker’s Benefit
 Jobseeker’s Allowance
 One-Parent Family Income
 Disability Allowance

Time spent on other schemes may count towards the qualifying period.

    Family Income Supplement (FIS)

FIS is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to those on low pay. You cannot qualify for FIS if you are only self-employed – you must be an employee.
To qualify, an employee must:

 Be in paid full-time employment that is expected to last for 3 months.
 Work at least 19 hours every week, or 38 hours every fortnight.
 Have an average weekly family income below the qualifying amounts.
 Have at least one qualified child who normally lives with the employee or is part of a family supported by the employee. A qualified child is any child under the age 18 or aged 22 if in full-time education.
FIS is calculated as 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit for the family size set by the Department of Social Welfare. FIS income limits in 2013:
If you have: And your weekly family income is less than:
One child €506
Two children €602
Three children €703
Four children €824
Five children €950
Six children €1,066
Seven children €1,202
Eight children €1,298
FIS income is not taxed nor is it taken into account in the assessment for a medical card. If you are getting FIS you may also be entitled to other allowances.

These are just a selection of the current schemes available from the Department of Social Protection. To find out more log on to or contact McLaughlin McGonigle, St Helens, St Oran’s Road Buncrana, Co. Donegal. Tel +353 (0)74 9321420 / Fax +353 (0)74 9321421/or email:

McLaughlin McGonigle t/a MLMG Financial Advisors is authorised to undertake investment business in Ireland by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants