Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1438)

Paul Kehoe


1438. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if assistance will be offered to a person (details supplied) in allowing them to secure the wage subsidy scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19271/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The objective of the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) is to encourage private sector employers to employ people with disabilities and thereby increase the numbers of people with disabilities participating in the open labour market. The scheme provides financial incentives to private sector employers to hire new staff with a disability for between 21 and 39 subsidised hours per week under a contract of employment.

For existing employees, as in this instance, WSS can only be considered where the individual is less than 12 months in that employment and where a productivity shortfall on his or her part is putting that particular employment in jeopardy. The incentive is intended to encourage private sector employers to take on new employees. When the employee is over 12 months in the job, the Employee Retention Grant Scheme (ERGS) can be applied for and not WSS.

The ERGS is a grant available to private sector employers should an employee acquire a disability whilst in employment, as in this case.  The grant aims to assist employers in retaining such employees.  The cause or nature of the illness, condition or impairment is not relevant for the purpose of this grant.  The ERGS will enable employers to identify the continuing potential of such staff to be productive and valuable employees.  It will assist in enabling the retention of the employee in their current position or in retraining the employee for another position in the company for the benefit of both the employer and the employee.  

The employer in this instance should contact their local INTREO centre for advice and assistance regarding the ERGS.