Tús is a Community Work Placement Initiative implemented by Meath Partnership on behalf of the Department of Social Protection. The aims of Tús are to provide a 12 month work opportunity for persons in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance. The work placements will be with community and voluntary organisations. The organisations must provide good quality work opportunities. All work carried out via Tús must be of benefit to the community and may not displace or replace existing jobs.
Types of Work
All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme will be community-based. The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:
- Environmental services (for example, conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
- Caring services (for example, childcare, care of older people)
- General community services (for example, newsletters or information provision for communities)
- Heritage and cultural services (for example, local heritage project)
- Para-educational services (for example, community playgroups)
Selection of Participants
Participants will, in the first instance, be identified by the Department of Social Protection by satisfying the following conditions:
- A person who has been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and “signing” on a full-time basis, and
- In receipt of a jobseekers payment from the Department of Social Protection for at least 12 months, and
- Currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The Department will contact those people and ask them if they wish to participate in the Tús scheme. They will also enclose a questionnaire regarding skills and interests which should be returned to Tús Office, Meath Partnership, Unit 7, Kells Business Park, Cavan Road, Co. Meath by the date indicated on the Department of Social Protection letter. Note: Failure to return a response by that date means that the name will be referred back and the Dept. of Social Protection will contact the person.
Where a person has indicated a wish to participate, The Tús team at Meath Partnership will arrange a short meeting with them.
During this meeting the Tús team will seek to identify a suitable work placement and will also discuss how the participant’s skills can be further developed with the goal of improving long term employment prospects
Under Tús scheme regulations all placements are for a maximum period of 12 months. These placements cannot be extended under any circumstances and It should also be noted that a participant cannot re-participate on this Initiative for a minimum of 3 years. Tús participants will work a 19.5 hour week and all payroll and administration will be handled by the Tús Team. The rates of pay will include a €20 top up in addition to the participant’s current rate of payment. (Since 17 September 2012 the minimum weekly payment for new participants based on 19.5 hours worked is €208. If the actual Jobseeker's Allowance (inclusive of increases for dependants) the participant received was €188 a week or less, then they will get the minimum Tús weekly rate of €208 (i.e. €188 plus €20). If their actual weekly Jobseeker's Allowance (including dependants) was €188.01 or more, then they will get that amount plus €20.) Participants will retain any secondary benefits and their medical card provided they are still eligible. The Tús payment is taxable but the amount payable depends on individual circumstances. Class A PRSI contributions will be paid for all participants. Those earning more than €352 a week will pay a PRSI contribution. Participants on the Tús scheme are exempt from the Universal Social Charge. Participants on the Tús scheme will have an entitlement to 10½ days Annual leave based on the statutory minimum of 20 days per annum which applies to other full-time employment, therefore all participants are entitled to 8% of their total hours worked over a 12 month period. (Pro-rata annual leave entitlements apply to periods worked of less than 12 months duration within the leave year). Participants are also entitled to a paid day off in relation to Public Holidays.
While on Tús, participants will be able to consider commercial employment and will be supported to pursue this. However, any such work must not interfere with the participant’s work on Tús or the times they are expected to work on Tús as this will be the participant’s principal work/income and they must undertake to contact the Revenue Commissioners with regard to any other work undertaken to ensure tax compliance etc. While participating on Tús, it is open to participants to terminate their contract if they are offered alternative commercial employment or training. Participants will regularly meet with the Tús team leaders to assess progress in the placement and also to address any concerns which may have arisen.
Scheme participants will be linked with other Meath Partnership services to maximise the potential benefit of their participation on the scheme.
Typically participants will receive training appropriate to their placement such as Manual Handling, Fás Safe Pass etc. Participants can also avail of Meath Partnership’s “Guide Me” programme, which offers services such as CV and Cover Letter preparation, Interview Coaching, Advocacy and Advice in dealing with potential employers, Jobseeker Workshops and One-to-One Career Coaching. As funding allows, Meath Partnership will also arrange training in other fields such as personal development, new skills training etc., all of which are geared towards future employment prospects. Meath Partnership can also provide information and practical help towards self-employment or further education.
Community and Voluntary Sector
Any organisation hoping to recruit a participant must work in the community, voluntary or not for profit sector. Organisations seeking work placements should contact the Tús team in Meath Partnership. They will be requested to submit job descriptions detailing the work the participant(s) would be required to do and also the number of places requested. Please download the application form here.
Further information on the Tús scheme can be found on the Department of Social Protection FAQ page or telephone the Tús Office on 046 9280790.