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Employment Support Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 November 2021

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Ceisteanna (123)

Claire Kerrane


123. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection if any further consideration has been given to extending time allowed on the back to work enterprise allowance for current participants given that they have been unable to avail of the advantages of the scheme due to Covid-19 and have therefore lost out; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57729/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme offers support for people who are long-term unemployed and who are interested in self-employment as a route to entering the labour market. The scheme plays a vital role in supporting the development of new enterprises for the long-term unemployed and is payable for up to a 24-month period from the commencement of their new business.

All participants of the BTWEA can receive their full period of entitlement of 24 months and, therefore, should not lose out on the support. This includes anyone who contacted the Department to suspend their allowance while their business closed during Covid related restrictions. Where someone suspended their BTWEA, they can avail of the remainder of their 24 months on reopening their business. There are no plans to provide for an extension of this period.

Where a person’s entitlement to BTWEA exhausts and they are continuing to operate at reduced levels of business activity there may be alternative income supports available depending on the individual’s circumstances, including support under the means tested Jobseeker's Allowance scheme.

If the Deputy is referring to a specific individual, I would advise the person to contact their local Intreo Centre for advice.

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.