Employment Subsidy Scheme

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the uptake of the employment subsidy scheme; if exceptions will be made to the regulations of this scheme in the second round regarding the support for part-time workers or persons working less than 35 hours per week; if there will be a third round of this scheme with amended criteria of qualification; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Dan Neville.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2010.

Ref No: 4986/10

R E P L Y

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms. Coughlan)

The Employment Subsidy Scheme (Temporary) is designed to support the maintenance of vulnerable jobs, help the economy retain its productive capacity and employers retain the labour, knowledge and skills of their workforce thereby supporting a faster return to sustainable growth.

The Scheme provides financial support to vulnerable but viable enterprises. As part of the Scheme, enterprises receive a subsidy of up to €9,100 for each subsidised job. In order to qualify for support, enterprises must commit to retaining a multiple of the number of jobs they receive subsidies for until the end of 2010.

To date there have been two calls under the Scheme. I launched the First Call of the Scheme on 6th August 2009. This Call was restricted to companies that were in the internationally traded services and manufacturing sectors and engaged in exporting. As a result of the First Call, 457 enterprises qualified for support and approximately 35,000 jobs are being directly and indirectly supported.

I launched the Second of the Scheme on 4th December. This Call was broader than the First call as it was open to companies from all sectors of the economy provided that they employed a minimum of 10 full time employees. The Second Call closed on 23rd December and a total of 2,590 applications were received. Enterprise Ireland, who are managing the Scheme are currently assessing these applications.

In order to qualify for support under the First Call of the Scheme subsidises could only be provided to enterprises whose employees were full time and working an average of 35 hours per weeks. However this was amended in the Second Call to allow enterprises apply for subsidies if they had placed some of their employees on reduced working hours in response to the economic downturn. The Second Call therefore contained two different subsidy levels, one for full time employees working an average of 35 or more hours per week and one for part time employees working an average of between 21 and 35 hours per week.

The full time subsidy in the Second Call is €9,100 per subsidised employee, which is the same as the subsidy from the First Call. The part time subsidy in the Second Call is €6,370 per subsidised employee.

Between the First and Second Calls the Government have allocated €135 million under the Employment Subsidy Scheme for the retention of vulnerable but viable employment. Consequently it is expected that between the Scheme’s two Calls approximately 80,000 jobs will be either directly or indirectly supported.

There are no plans at this stage to have a third call of the Employment Subsidy Scheme.

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the uptake of the employment subsidy scheme; if exceptions will be made to the regulations of this scheme in the second round regarding the support for part-time workers or persons working less than 35 hours per week; if there will be a third round of this scheme with amended criteria of qualification; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Dan Neville.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2010.

Ref No: 4986/10

R E P L Y

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms. Coughlan)

The Employment Subsidy Scheme (Temporary) is designed to support the maintenance of vulnerable jobs, help the economy retain its productive capacity and employers retain the labour, knowledge and skills of their workforce thereby supporting a faster return to sustainable growth.

The Scheme provides financial support to vulnerable but viable enterprises. As part of the Scheme, enterprises receive a subsidy of up to €9,100 for each subsidised job. In order to qualify for support, enterprises must commit to retaining a multiple of the number of jobs they receive subsidies for until the end of 2010.

To date there have been two calls under the Scheme. I launched the First Call of the Scheme on 6th August 2009. This Call was restricted to companies that were in the internationally traded services and manufacturing sectors and engaged in exporting. As a result of the First Call, 457 enterprises qualified for support and approximately 35,000 jobs are being directly and indirectly supported.

I launched the Second of the Scheme on 4th December. This Call was broader than the First call as it was open to companies from all sectors of the economy provided that they employed a minimum of 10 full time employees. The Second Call closed on 23rd December and a total of 2,590 applications were received. Enterprise Ireland, who are managing the Scheme are currently assessing these applications.

In order to qualify for support under the First Call of the Scheme subsidises could only be provided to enterprises whose employees were full time and working an average of 35 hours per weeks. However this was amended in the Second Call to allow enterprises apply for subsidies if they had placed some of their employees on reduced working hours in response to the economic downturn. The Second Call therefore contained two different subsidy levels, one for full time employees working an average of 35 or more hours per week and one for part time employees working an average of between 21 and 35 hours per week.

The full time subsidy in the Second Call is €9,100 per subsidised employee, which is the same as the subsidy from the First Call. The part time subsidy in the Second Call is €6,370 per subsidised employee.

Between the First and Second Calls the Government have allocated €135 million under the Employment Subsidy Scheme for the retention of vulnerable but viable employment. Consequently it is expected that between the Scheme’s two Calls approximately 80,000 jobs will be either directly or indirectly supported.

There are no plans at this stage to have a third call of the Employment Subsidy Scheme.