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Wage Subsidy Scheme

What is the Wage Subsidy Scheme?

The Wage Subsidy Scheme is aimed at encouraging the private sector to employ people with disabilities. It provides financial incentives to employers, helping to cover additional costs associated with hiring and accommodating individuals with disabilities.

  • Hours of Work: The work provided to an individual must be for a minimum of 21 hours per week, and the subsidy is applicable up to a maximum of 39 hours per week.
  • Equal Employment Conditions: An employee with a disability who is part of this scheme enjoys the same conditions of employment as any other employees. This includes social insurance contributions, tax deductions, annual leave, and other leave entitlements.
  • Fair Pay: The employer is required to pay the employee with a disability the prevailing rate for the job, which must be at least the statutory minimum wage. The terms and conditions of the employment should be detailed in the employee's contract.
  • Rate of Subsidy: The base wage subsidy provided to private sector employers for each qualifying employee is €6.30 per hour.
  • How to Apply:

  • The employee fills out the Wage Subsidy Scheme Employee Application Form (WSS1EE) and meets a Case Officer from the department to register on the WSS system as someone with a disability.
  • If the employee isn't qualifying for a Disability Payment from the Department of Social Protection. A professional medical confirmation of disability is required. You must fill in the Wage Subsidy Scheme Confidential Medical and Functional Capacity Report Form (WSS DCMA).
  • The employer fills out the Wage Subsidy Scheme Employer Application Form (WSS1ER) and an EFT bank mandate.
  • The employer and employee agree that the employee has/will have a loss of productivity of 20% or more and fill out Wage Subsidy Scheme Productivity Level Report Form (WSS2).
  • The employer must have tax clearance – the employer should provide a tax clearance access number and a printout of the tax clearance application result for electronic tax clearance as proof of this. This is essential, as the subsidy cannot be paid without tax clearance. The employer must fill in the Wage Subsidy Scheme: Supplier Set-up Form (V05-2018).
  • The employer must also provide a signed contract of employment detailing the terms and conditions of employment, including gross wage, job description (and person specification if available), annual leave, sick leave and maternity/paternity leave entitlements. The contract of employment must be for a minimum of 6 months.
  • The Wage Subsidy Scheme Application Form for Strand III (WSS4) provides a grant to employers who hire an Employment Assistance Officer (EAO). An EAO is a person whose job is to support and assist employees with disabilities in their work.

    Under the Wage Subsidy Scheme Application Form for Strand III (WSS4)

  • The company must employ 25 or more WSS employees each 4-week period they claim the grant.
  • The maximum annual grant payable is a contribution of €30,000 per Employment Assistance Officer employed.
  • The grant is not paid on a pro-rata basis.
  • To receive payment of the Strand III subsidy, all Strand I Wage Subsidy requests for a 4-week payment period must be completed and returned.
  • If an application is approved, the department will write to the employer and employee to confirm the terms of approval.

    Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS4)