For employers who wish to include and integrate employees with an illness, injury or disability into their workforce there are a number of grants and supports that you can apply for under the Department of Social Protection. The following is a list of the most frequently used.
WAGE SUBSIDY SCHEME
The Wage Subsidy Scheme provides financial incentives to employers, outside the public sector, to employ disabled people who work 21 hours or more per week. A person on the Wage Subsidy Scheme is subject to the same conditions of employment as other employees. These conditions include PRSI contributions, annual leave, tax deductions and the going rate for the job. The rate of subsidy is €5.30 per hour and is based on the number of hours worked, giving a total annual subsidy available of €10,748 per annum based on 39 hour week.
DISABILITY AWARENESS SUPPORT SCHEME
The Disability Awareness Support Scheme provides funding so that employers can buy in Disability Awareness Training for their staff. The purpose of the training is to deliver clear and accurate information about disability and to address questions or concerns that employers and employees may have about working with people with disabilities.
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION FUND
Under the Reasonable Accommodation Fund, the Department of Social Protection can help you – as an employer – to take appropriate measures to enable a person with a disability to have access to employment by providing the following grants and schemes
- WORKPLACE EQUIPMENT/ADAPTATION GRANT: If you employ a disabled person who may require a more accessible workplace or adapted equipment to do their job, you as the employer may be able to get a grant from The Department of Social Protection towards the costs of adapting premises or equipment. Examples of adaptations for which a grant may be given are:
- Minor building modifications such as ramps or modified toilets
- Alarm systems with flashing lights
- Equipment adaption such as voice synthesisers for computers or amplifiers for telephones
- A maximum grant of €6348.70 is available towards the cost of adaptations to premises or equipment. This grant can also be used to upgrade adapted equipment funded previously
- JOB INTERVIEW INTERPRETER GRANT : Funding is available to have a sign language interpreter present for interviews if required by the jobseeker. Further finding is also available to cover costs of an interpreter during an induction period when the person starts work.
- EMPLOYEE RETENTION GRANT. : Aims to help employers retain employees who become disabled through sickness or injury
- WAGE SUBSIDY SCHEME (WSS): The wage subsidy scheme provides financial support to employers, outside the public sector, to employ people with disabilities who work 21 hours or more per a week.
- JOBS PLUS SCHEME : JobsPlus is an employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. It is designed to encourage employers and businesses to employ people who have been out of work for long periods.