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Losing your job

Information

It is widely recognised that losing your job can be one of the most difficult times of your life. This document is an introduction to the range of issues that you need to consider when you lose your job.

Dismissal and redundancy

If you lose your job you may have been made redundant or you may have been dismissed. If it is a redundancy situation you may qualify for a redundancy payment. You can find out how your redundancy payment is taxed. If you have been let go from your job, you should check that your employer had fair grounds for your dismissal. If you are concerned about your dismissal you should find out more about your rights under unfair dismissals legislation. When you lose your job you are entitled to notice and you may also be entitled to payment in lieu of wages and for holidays.

PRSI and tax

When you lose your job you should register as unemployed with your local social welfare office or Intreo centre even if you do not qualify for an unemployment payment. You may be able to sign on for credited PRSI contributions so that you do not have a break in your social insurance record.

You may be entitled to a tax refund if you have been out of work for some time. When you leave your job your employer should give you your P45 which is a record of your tax and PRSI paid. If it is the end of a tax year your employer should give you a P60.

Social welfare and other benefits.

You may be entitled to an unemployment social welfare payment. If you have enough social insurance contributions you may be entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit. If you do not have enough PRSI contributions you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance which is a means-tested benefit. Depending on your circumstances you may qualify for a medical card or GP visit card and other secondary benefits such as Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

Looking for work

There are a number of sources of information to help you find a job including newspapers, recruitment agencies and websites. There also are different organisations which can assist you. You should register with your local employment services office or Intreo centre for information about job vacancies. It also provides career guidance and information about Job Clubs and training courses. Local Employment Services (LES) assist long-term unemployed people through training and career guidance to progress from social welfare to work. There are employment schemes for long-term unemployed people such as Community Employment.

Education and training

After losing your job you may decide to return to education or vocational training, perhaps changing direction in your career. There is a wide range of education and training programmes offering full-time and part-time courses. The courses include Further Education and Training (FET) courses and courses provided by Education and Training Boards (ETBs), (which replaced vocational education committees (VECs) on 1 July 2013). If you are on an unemployment payment you may be eligible for the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) or the Back to Education Allowance.

Returning to work

When you are returning to work you should make sure that your tax and PRSI deductions are correct. You should let your local social welfare office or Intreo centre know when you are starting work.

If you are taking up self-employment you may be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

Page updated: 16 October 2014

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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.