December 15, 2014

IASE Open Door staff or your local supported employment agency can offer information to employers interesting in recruiting or availing any grants and incentives to assist employ people with disabilities.

Below is an outline of some of the current Government schemes:-

Reasonable Accommodation Fund for the Employment of Disabled People

Reasonable Accommodation is a term used in equality legislation to define the frameworks within which an obligation is placed on employers and training bodies to take appropriate measures to accommodate people with a disability.

DSP operates a series of private sector employment supports to assist disabled people to access and progress in employment. These are now grouped under the umbrella name of the Reasonable

Accommodation Fund

These supports could be outlined briefly as follows:

  1. Employee Retention Grant Scheme – ERGS is available to private sector employers when an employee develops a disability whether occupational or not. It provides funding to identify accommodation or training to enable the employee to remain in their current position or to re-train them to take up another position within the organisation. There are two stages to the scheme; – Assessment, 90% of the costs of developing a retention strategy can be funded to a max. of €2,500. – Implementation, 90% of eligible programme costs can be funded to a max. of €12,500.
  2. Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant – WEAG is available to employers in the private sector who need to adapt equipment or the workplace to accommodate a disabled employee. The maximum grant provided is €6,350 and covers minor building modifications such as ramps or accessible toilets; assistive technology; amplifiers for telephones, etc.
  3. Job Interview/Induction Interpreter Grant – JIIG is available to cover the costs of an interpreter up to a defined maximum for a three hour period for interview and induction purposes where an interviewee or new staff member is deaf, hard of hearing or has a speech impediment.
  4. Personal Reader Grant – PRGS is available to blind or visually impaired persons who are in employment and who need a Personal Reader to assist them with job related reading. Such reading is part of the employee’s duties but due to the nature of their visual impairment they cannot perform reading duties themselves. The grant to be paid will be based on a fee per hour, in line with minimum wage. Where there is a requirement for technically qualified readers, the fee to be paid will be looked at on an individual basis and may be higher.

Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS)

WSS provides financial incentives to employers, outside the public sector, to employ disabled people who works more than 20 hours per week. The Scheme is structured in three strands. The employer can benefit from one or all, simultaneously.

Strand I subsidy – is a general subsidy for any perceived productivity shortfall in excess of 20% for a disabled person, in comparison to a non-disabled peer. An employee must works a minimum of 21 hours per week up to a maximum of 39 hours per week. 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.

Strand II – is based on the total number of disabled employees in a company, an employer can apply for a grant to cover additional costs ranging from an additional 10% for 3-6 employees to a maximum of 50% of the wage subsidy for 23+ disabled employees.

Strand III is where 30 or more disabled people are employed, employers can avail of a grant of €30,000 per annum to assist with the cost of employing an Employment Assistance Officer.

The successful job seeking applicant is required to give up his/her primary social welfare payment on commencement of employment under this scheme.

To down load an application form go to:-



Disability Awareness Support Scheme – DASS

DASS assists the integration of disabled people into the workplace and helps to eliminate mistaken perceptions about them. It is available to all companies in the private sector who are interested in employing, retaining or relating to people with disabilities.

Grants of 90% of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of €20,000, are available to private companies in the first year and 80% in the second and subsequent years. Eligible costs include actual fees paid in respect of external trainer’s fees for in-house staff training, open learning/computer/web based training programme fees and learning materials e.g. manuals, books, clearly associated with the relevant training programme to a maximum of €650.

All these employment supports are available to the private sector only.   For further information online visit 




JobsPlus is a new employer Incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This Incentive will replace the Revenue Job Assist and Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption Scheme from 1st July 2013. Regular cash payments will be made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs where they engage jobseekers from the Live Register.

This Incentive is designed to encourage employers and businesses to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been out of works for long periods. The level of payment is increased for the recruitment of those out of works for more than two years.

The Incentive will provide two levels of payment: a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months and €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months (see section 2.8). The new Incentive will be payable monthly in arrears.

Eligible employers who recruit full time employees on or after 1st July 2013 may apply for the Incentive, which will initially operate on a pilot basis for a period of six months.

Eligible employees must:

Be getting Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA), or signing on for credits and be at least 12 months (312 days) on the Live Register in the previous 18 months to qualify as an eligible employee for the €7,500 incentive.

For further information email Jobsplusinfo@welfare.ie or calling (071) 9672535/9672583


To contact a member of the Open Door team email info@iase.ie or Telephone 086 7910402

Alternatively to find your local supported employment services visit http://www.iase.ie/find-a-local-service/ 

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