The Job Initiative Scheme is a programme providing full-time employment for people 35 years of age or over who have been unemployed for 5 years or more. Since November 2004, there has been no further recruitment onto the Scheme. Instead, you are invited to consider applying for available Community Employment vacancies. The following information therefore only applies to those currently employed under the Job Initiative Scheme.
In order to qualify, you must have been in receipt of an appropriate social welfare payment over that 5 year period. The aim of the Job Initiative programme is to assist long-term unemployed persons to prepare for work opportunities in the open labour market. The programme does this by providing participants with work experience, training and development opportunities. The same employment conditions apply to the Scheme as in other jobs. For example, you have the same employment rights and protections regarding annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, grievance/ disciplinary procedures and your income is taxable
As recruitment to the Job Initiative Scheme finished in November, 2004 the following information applies only to those currently employed under the Scheme.
In order to participate in the Job Initiative Scheme you must have been over 35 years of age and have been receiving one of the following payments for 5 years or more
If you were on Community Employment, or a recognised vocational training or education course you can use this as part of your qualifying time. Women over 35 years of age in receipt of Deserted Wife's Benefit must change over to the One-Parent Family Payment in order to be eligible. You cannot change change back onto Deserved Wife's Benefit, and the One-Parent Family Payment can only be retained when the youngest child reaches the age of 18. If you have short periods of casual employment during those five years (maximum of 25 weeks), you may still be eligible. Spouses of claimants may exchange their entitlements in order to qualify for these jobs.
You may keep the child dependant allowance portion of your social welfare payment for 13 weeks, or alternatively, you may qualify for Family Income Supplement if you have children. Limited funding is available for training
You will keep your medical card for the duration of the scheme.
You will keep your secondary benefits as long as your gross (before tax, but not including Family Income Supplement) household income is less than €317.43 per week.
You are paid the going rate for the job. In 2012 the minimum payment to a Job Initiative participant was €416
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.