New welfare payment for Irish self-employed workers to be introduced later this year
As many as 6,500 people will benefit from a payment worth up to €203 per week.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty T.D. has announced the introduction of a new social insurance benefit scheme for self-employed workers in Ireland from this November.
The new scheme of Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) is intended to support those who lose their self-employment and are covered by social insurance. The payment will be worth up to a maximum of €203 per week for fully qualified adults for a period of nine months.
It will be the first time that self-employed workers in Ireland will be granted access to jobseeker’s benefit and it will be paid at the same rate as those who are employed and lose their job.
The initiative is designed to provide assurance to people setting up or running their own business that the State is there to support them if their efforts to create employment and an income for their families and employees suffer as a consequence of their business ceasing.
Under the scheme, applicants will have access to the full range of employment supports available to other jobseekers, such as referral to group information sessions, one-to-one interviews and subsequent caseworker support.
Arrangements are currently underway in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to ensure the necessary legislation is in place for the new scheme and that the administrative and technical solutions are in place in advance of November for its operation.
Applicants will have to satisfy a PRSI contribution condition and self-employed persons who do not have sufficient PRSI contributions will continue to be able to apply for jobseeker’s allowance, a social assistance means tested scheme.
The payment rates for this scheme are the same as the Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme, as follows:
- Maximum Personal Rate: €203.00
- Maximum Increase for a Qualified Adult: €134.70
- Maximum Increase for a Qualified Child (Under 12): €34.00
- Maximum Increase for a Qualified Child (12 and Over): €37.00
Commenting on the introduction of the scheme, Minister Doherty said: “This new benefit supports the Government’s aim of creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, including providing an income safety net to employees and self-employed alike. This Government has sought to encourage enterprise and, particularly, has sought to introduce a new deal for the self-employed when it comes to their access to benefits.
“We have already extended Treatment Benefits and Invalidity Pension to the self-employed in recent years to ensure that they reach some parity with employees in the benefits they can access from the social insurance system. The introduction of a new Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme for the self-employed represents the next step in the Government’s work to extend PRSI benefits and will provide an income safety net to thousands of small and medium businesses throughout the country.”