This scheme (WSS) provides financial incentives to private sector employers to employ people with a disability who work 21 hours per week or more, up to a maximum of 39 hours per week.
The financial supports for employers available through this scheme are structured under three separate strands and employers could benefit under one strand or under two or three strands simultaneously, as the case may be.
Strand I: Wage Subsidy
This subsidy is a general subsidy for any perceived productivity shortfall in excess of 20% for a person with a disability, in comparison to a colleague without a disability.
- An employee must work for a minimum of 21 hours per week up to a maximum of 39 hours per week.
- The rate of subsidy is €6.30 per hour (as of January 2022) and the amount of the subsidy is based on the number of hours worked.
- The maximum annual subsidy payable is €12,776 per year (as of January 2022) based on a 39 hour week.
Strand II: Wage Subsidy with Additional Management and Supervisory Costs being Claimable
This subsidy is payable when an employer employs three or more people with a disability who are supported by a WSS Strand I payment. Strand II is intended to cover the additional supervisory, management and other work based costs relating to these employees.
- This top-up payment is a percentage of the Strand I subsidy and is based on the overall number of employees with a disability employed under Strand I.
- It ranges from an additional 10% of wage subsidy for 3 to 6 employees with a disability to a maximum of 50% of wage subsidy for 23+ employees with a disability.
This subsidy enables employers who employ 25 or more workers with a disability on the Wage Subsidy Scheme to be eligible for a grant of up to €30,000 per year towards the expense of employing an Employment Assistance Officer (EAO) to support these employees. The grant is not paid on a pro-rata basis. For Example when 50 people with a disability are employed and WSS is being availed of by the employer in such circumstances, an additional grant of €30,000 can be applied for to employ a second EAO. There is a limit of 5 EAO positions which may be subsidised under the WSS in any one company.
How to Apply
In order to apply for Strand I subsidy, an employer should complete the following forms and forward them, along with all of the supporting documentation, to their local DEASP Intreo Centre or to a DEASP Case Officer, for consideration:
- WSS Employer Application Form
- WSS Employee Application Form
- WSS Productivity Level Report
- EFT Bank Mandate Form
The supporting documents include:
- Company's Tax Clearance Certificate,
- Employee’s contract of employment,
- Job description and person specification (if available).
If it is approved, you will receive a letter from your DEASP Case Officer. If not, they will request a visit with you and your employee. Making contact with the relevant office in advance should facilitate the smooth running of this process.
Confirming disability for eligibility for wage subsidy scheme (when the applicant is not on a qualifying DEASP disability payment and professional medical confirmation of disability is required in order to process the application).