REDUNDANCY INFO

Independent Information on Redundancy in Ireland

Text Box: Social Welfare Entitlements

Social welfare entitlement following redundancy is handled within the Jobseekers Benefit Scheme. This is a weekly payment made to people who are out of work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). Jobseekers Benefit was called Unemployment Benefit until the name of the payment was changed in 2006.

The recent Budget for 2009 made a number of changes to Jobseekers Benefit:  

From 14 Oct 2008, Jobseekers Benefit can be paid for a maximum of 12 months to:
- New claimants who have at least 260 paid contributions 
- People getting Jobseekers Benefit for less than 6 months on 14 October 2008 who have at least 260 paid contributions 

From 14 Oct 2008, Jobseekers Benefit can be paid for a maximum of 9 months to:
- New claimants who have less than 260 paid contributions 
- People getting Jobseekers Benefit for less than 3 months on 14 October 2008 who have less than 260 paid contributions 

From January 2009, there will be changes to the number of PRSI contributions needed to qualify for Jobseekers Benefit (see 'Rules' below). There will also be an increase in the earnings limit for a graduated rate of payment (see 'Rates' below).

Following Redundancy
Employees will not be entitled to Jobseekers benefit for up to 9 weeks if:
- they are aged under 55 and get a redundancy payment of more than €50,000. The exact length of disqualification (up to nine weeks) will in practice, depend on the precise amount of redundancy payment employees received. 

From 1st February 2007, if an employee is under 55 and gets a redundancy payment of more than €50,000 he/she will be disqualified from claiming Jobseekers Benefit for the following length of time:

Amount of Redundancy Payment Period of Disqualification 
€50,000.00 - €55,000   1 Week  
€55,000.01 - €60,000   2 Weeks 
€60,000.01 - €65,000   3 Weeks  
€65,000.01 - €70,000   4 Weeks 
€70,000.01 - €75,000   5 Weeks 
€75,000.01 - €80,000   6 Weeks  
€80,000.01 - €85,000   7 Weeks 
€85,000.01 - €90,000   8 Weeks 
€90,000.01 and over    9 Weeks 



Rates 
Weekly rates 2008: 

Personal rate  €197.80 (maximum rate 2008) 
Increase for a Qualified Adult  €131.30 (maximum rate 2008) 
Increase for each Qualified Child  €24 (full-rate), €12 (half-rate)
 
Jobseekers Benefit rates are graduated according to earnings in the Relevant Tax Year. 
A reduced rate of Jobseekers Benefit is payable if an employees average weekly earnings in the Relevant Tax Year before becoming unemployed were under €150. From January 2009, the earnings limit in the Relevant Tax Year for graduated rates of Jobseekers Benefit will increase from €150 to €300 per week for new claimants.

If people are affected by this rule, it may be more beneficial for them to claim Jobseekers Allowance instead of Jobseekers Benefit.

Weekly rates 2009: 

Personal rate  €204.30 (maximum rate 2009) 
Increase for a Qualified Adult  €135.60 (maximum rate 2009) 
Increase for each Qualified Child  €26 (full-rate under 18), €13 (half-rate under 18)

The graduated rates for 2009 will be announced later this year.

Taxation of Jobseekers Benefit
Jobseekers Benefit is taxable.  However, if people are getting Jobseekers Benefit because their normal working week has been reduced (systematic short-time work) their Jobseekers Benefit is not taxed.  Find out more about the taxation of Jobseekers Benefit (pdf).

Half-rate Jobseekers Benefit with another social welfare payment
If someone is getting a Widows/Widowers Pension, a One-Parent Family Payment or a deserted wives payment from DSFA and meets all the conditions for Jobseekers Benefit, that person will be entitled to half the normal rate of Jobseekers Benefit. An Increase for a Qualified Child is not paid with Jobseekers Benefit in these cases because the person is already being paid for his/her children in their main payment.

Spouse/partner working
If someone’s spouse/partner works and earns less than €100 gross per week, they are entitled to a full increase for them as a qualified adult. A reduced allowance is payable where their earnings are between €100 and €300. If someones spouse/partner earns more than €300 gross per week, the person will not be paid any increase for them. 

Increase for a Qualified Child
For new claimants, payment of the half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child will be discontinued where the spouses weekly income is more than €400. 
  


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