North Tipperary Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan has welcomed the launch of JobsPlus, a new Government initiative aimed at incentivising employers to hire the long-term unemployed.
It will see the State cover €1 out of every €4 it costs to hire someone off the Live Register.
“This new scheme, which was originally announced as part of the Budget, has the potential to make a really significant difference to those who are long-term unemployed and are finding it very difficult to get back to work. The Government has been listening to the views of employers over the last two years, and it is clear that there is a need for a simple scheme to help with the cost of recruiting new workers. JobsPlus is just that,” explained Deputy Coonan.
“Under JobsPlus, regular cash payments will be made to employers by the Department of Social Protection to help offset the costs of employing someone who has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more. A payment of €7,500 will be made to the employer over two years for each person who is hired who has been on the Live Register for between 12 and 24 months. This rises to €10,000 if the person has been unemployed for more than two years.
“This Government inherited a jobs market in free-fall. Seven thousands jobs were being lost every month when this Government took office two and a half years ago. Now, two thousand jobs are being created every month. This is a very positive turnaround, but we still have a long way to go, and we must ensure that the recovery in jobs doesn’t bypass the long-term unemployed,” continued Deputy Coonan.
“Being out of work for a long time does not only have profound economic effects, it can also have a huge impact on a person’s self-esteem. It is often the case that the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get a job. But with JobsPlus, the Government is directly incentivising and helping employers to hire the long-term unemployed.
“In order to qualify for JobsPlus, the employer must be offering full-time employment of over 30 hours per week, spanning at least four days a week. From the jobseeker’s point of view, if you have been in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment from the Department of Social Protection for 12 months or more, you will be eligible to be recruited under the scheme.
“Many small businesses in Tipperary would like to take on extra workers, but they are worried about the costs involved. The JobsPlus scheme will make it much easier and economically viable to create jobs. And if we can encourage the tens of thousands of viable small businesses across the country to take on just one extra employee, we can make a significant dent in our unemployment problem,” said Deputy Coonan.