Grants

Wage Subsidy Scheme

  • The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) provides a financial incentive to employers who employ certain people with disabilities for a minimum of 21 hours per week. This subsidy is paid to the employer to compensate where there is a reduced productivity of the disabled worker.  The wage subsidies are designed to provide an incentive to employers to look more closely at the potential of disabled people to meet their labour force requirements.
  •  The Employer pays the employee ‘the hourly rate’ for the job and the employer receives €5.30 per hour toward the wages

e.g 21 Hrs work at 8.65 = €181.65. Employer receives €111.30 towards this wage.

What WSS means for the Employee.

  1. In the event that an employee for whom a wage subsidy is payable can no longer continue in employment and where that personwas previously in receipt of a Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension, and has been in employment for less than 12 months, their  income support payment will automatically be restored without the need to re-apply.
  2. Where a person is working for three days on a WSS they can apply for job seekers allowance for the other three days of the week, this would be means assessed
    • Where points 2 or 3 above apply, the employee should simply contact the relevant Scheme Section in the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
  3. There is a commitment that employees can keep their Medical Cards for the first three years on WSS.  (The position after three years is unclear – we advise asking your Community Welfare Officer about this).
  4. A person with a disability on the WSS is subject to the same conditions of employment as other employees.  These conditions include PRSI contributions, annual leave and tax deductions and minimum wage requirements. The employer must pay the going rate for the job.
  5. Secondary benefits – contact Community Welfare officer to discuss maintaining these benefits as this is assessed on an individual basis.
  6. The minimum hours work for WSS is 21. If weekly hours are to be increased on agreement between the employer and employee, one months notice is needed by FAS.

Job Interview Interpreter Grant

FÁS has responsibility for providing labour market services for disabled people, assisting with finding paid employment or preparing for employment through a training or employment programme.

If you are a jobseeker who is deaf, hard of hearing or has a speech impairment and are attending job interviews, you may apply for funding to have a sign language interpreter or other interpreter to attend the interview with you. Funding can also be provided to cover the costs of an interpreter during an induction period when you start work.

FÁS will pay a fee as per the standard rate for a 3-hour period using a professionally qualified interpreter. Travel costs for the interpreter are paid at a set rate. Rates will be differentiated between professionally qualified interpreters and others.

Eligibility

You can apply for the Job Interview Interpreter grant if you:

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing or have a significant speech impairment;
  • Are actively seeking employment or just started employment;
  • Feel you would benefit from having a sign language interpreter and/or other interpreter present at job interviews or for an induction period.

Personal Reader Grant

FÁS has responsibility for providing labour market services for disabled people, assisting with finding paid employment or preparing for employment through a training or employment programme.

If you are blind or visually impaired and you need assistance with job-related reading, you may be entitled to a grant to allow you to employ a Personal Reader.

FÁS will pay a fee per hour, in line with minimum wage. It will be paid up to a maximum of 640 hours per annum.

Eligibility

You can apply for a Personal Reader grant if:

  • You are in employment in the private sector and need assistance with work-related reading;
  • You have recently become visually impaired and are in danger of losing your job;
  • You are going back to your original employer to do new or different work;
  • Your prospects for promotion are being restricted because of reading difficulty due to your visual impairment.

The personal reader must not be replacing any reading help normally given by work colleagues, relatives or friends.

Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant (WEAG)

FÁS has responsibility for providing labour market services for disabled people, assisting with finding paid employment or preparing for employment through a training or employment programme.

If you are a disabled person who has been offered employment or are in employment, and require a more accessible workplace or adapted equipment to do your job, you or your employer may be able to get a grant from FÁS towards the costs of adapting premises or equipment.

Examples of adaptations for which a grant may be given are:

  • Minor building modifications such as ramps or modified toilets;
  • Alarm systems with flashing lights;
  • Equipment adaptation such as voice synthesisers for computers or amplifiers for telephones.

A maximum grant of €6348.70 is available towards the cost of adaptations to premises or equipment. This grant can also be used to upgrade adapted equipment funded previously.

Eligibility

You or your employer can apply for this grant if you:

  • Have been offered employment in the private sector and require an adaptation to equipment or premises to undertake the duties required;
  • Are in employment, or recently changed jobs, and require an adaptation to equipment or premises to undertake the duties required;
  • Are self-employed.

Disability Awareness Support Scheme

Many people are unsure of how to respond to someone with a disability and are self conscious about the language they use. They are concerned about using the wrong words and inadvertently causing offence, or being unable to cope with a situation because of lack of knowledge about the appropriate etiquette when working with people with disabilities.

Disability awareness support is designed to ensure that staff provide the best service to customers/clients with disabilities and that managers and other employees maximize their working relationships with colleagues with disabilities.

Eligibility

The Disability Awareness Support Scheme is open to all companies in the private sector. Training grants are available for the development of personnel at all levels and occupations within this sector. It is suitable for companies interested in:

  • Employing or retaining people with disabilities;
  • Promoting the employment of people with disabilities;
  • Promoting management of diversity within their workplace.

Funding

Funding for the Disability Awareness Support Scheme is available from FÁS to companies at a level of 90% of costs in the first year and 80% of costs in subsequent years. The maximum funding available to a company is €20,000 in any one calendar year.

Further information on the above grants can be found on www.fas.ie