What is the part-time job incentive scheme (PTJI)?

Updated 18 January 2023

The part-time job incentive scheme allows you to work a part-time job and receive an additional weekly allowance, instead of the full jobseeker's allowance. This scheme can help you to earn a living wage while searching for full-time work. Learning about how to qualify for this scheme and its benefits can help you to support yourself and your family as you search for full-time work. In this article, we review what the part-time job incentive scheme is, explore how you can apply for it and discuss what other similar schemes exist to help you in these situations.

What is the part-time job incentive scheme?

The part-time job incentive scheme (PTJI) is a way of supporting part-time employees who are currently looking for full-time work. This scheme helps families with low income and that are part-time earners to have a minimum standard of living while on the scheme. The government offers this scheme as a way of attracting part-time employees to full-time work, or as a means of supporting unemployed people on their journey back towards employment. There are a number of different conditions you're required to meet if you want to enrol in this scheme.

Another scheme similar to the PTJI scheme is the jobseeker's allowance (JA). The jobseeker's allowance aims to support unemployed individuals who are currently looking for work. This scheme often serves as a precursor for the PTJI scheme. You cannot be on both these schemes at the same time. These two schemes complement each other in that they offer support to jobseekers and part-time employees and help you to find a full-time role within the workforce. The government website has valuable tools and details to help you understand more about these schemes.

Related: How the cycle to work scheme works (With conditions and FAQ)

Requirements to meet

There are a number of different requirements to meet if you want to apply for this scheme. The first step you can take is to get a part-time job where you work 24 hours or less. You can work multiple part-time jobs, but work hours can't exceed 24 hours per week. Here are some of the other requirements for this scheme, which include:

  • You have prior enrolment in the jobseeker's allowance. To participate in the PTJI scheme, you're required to have been on the jobseeker's allowance for at least 15 months, or 390 days, before applying for the PTJI scheme. This also applies to jobseeker's benefit, but only if you moved from one of these schemes immediately to the other.

  • You remain on the scheme for two months. You're required to undertake to remain on the PTJI scheme for a period of at least two months. This means it's important you find a part-time job that's likely to last at least two months.

  • You receive no other payments. You cannot be in receipt of any other social welfare payments. This also includes education, training or any other type of allowance.

As a self-employed person, you're not eligible for this scheme. If you find full-time employment whilst on the scheme, you may not return to the scheme at the end of your full-time work until you meet the scheme's qualification requirements.

Related: Strategies and job hunting tips to get the job you want

What rates do I receive?

You can receive two standard rates as part of the job incentive scheme. One as a single adult, and another as a person with a qualified adult. A qualified adult is an adult dependant, such as a spouse, cohabitant or civil partner. Here are the two rates of pay:

  • €131.80 per week if you are a single adult

  • €214.90 per week if you have an adult dependant

The rates remain the same no matter how many qualified children you have. Regardless of the part-time position's pay rate, these rates always remain the same. While your wages are taxable at the normal rate, your allowances are non-taxable and paid directly into your bank account.

Related: Job interview tips: how to make a great impression

Are there any additional benefits?

There are no additional benefits apart from the weekly allowance provided by this scheme. You're still eligible to use your medical card for a maximum period of three years and free travel pass if you have one. You can apply to benefit from the rent supplement scheme. It's important to understand that the rent supplement scheme assesses your part-time income as a part of the approval process.

Related: What is included in a job offer letter? (With example)

How to apply for the PTJI scheme

You can apply for this scheme once you have successfully gained a part-time position with an employer. Once you've done this, contact your local Intreo Centre or social welfare office to apply for this scheme. You can do this in person, over the phone or through email. Most centres request you to come into the office to physically sign paperwork and present the relevant paperwork. An employee in this centre is likely to ask you questions about your part-time employment and your search for a full-time job. If the government accepts your application, there are some more steps to take.

Every four weeks, your employer completes a form to confirm the hours you work each week and your current employment status. You also sign a similar form declaring you have only worked 24 hours or fewer each week. You can then return these forms each week to receive your payment. Returning these forms in a timely manner can help prevent any payment delays. If your part-time job ends, you can return to jobseeker's benefit if none of your other circumstances change.

Related: How to write a cover letter for a job application

Similar schemes

There are some similar schemes you can use to assist you and your family during unemployment or low income. You can gain further information about these schemes by asking in an Intreo or social welfare centre. Remember to consider the entry requirements before applying to join one of these schemes. Here are some similar schemes for you to research:

Community employment scheme

The community employment scheme, or CE scheme, helps long-term unemployed or similarly disadvantaged people to gain employment within their local communities. These jobs might consist of working in refuse collection, gardening and community service, though it depends on your local area. The design of these placements is to give you the skills and experience you need for applying to full-time jobs after finishing your scheme.

There's a wide range of qualifying standards for community employment schemes. You can also avail of a number of different social welfare allowances while on this scheme. The scheme allows you to work a part-time job in addition to working a community job. The CE scheme generally lasts for a period of one year.

Work placement experience programme

The work placement experience programme, or WPEP, gives people an opportunity to develop skills in a new area of work. The government designed this scheme for people who've recently lost their job or who have never had a job before. Participants are required to have been unemployed for at least six months previously before applying for this scheme. They are also required to be in receipt of at least one social welfare payment, such as jobseeker's allowance.

Related: How to accept a job offer (With tips and examples)

Back to education allowance

The back to education allowance, or BTEA, helps people to return to second or third-level education at recognised institutions. Single parents, unemployed individuals and people with disabilities are eligible for this allowance. You can attend either a level five, six, seven or eight educational course through this scheme. This can help you gain skills and technical competencies employers find useful. Not all courses are eligible as part of the back to education allowance. In order to qualify for this allowance people are required to:

  • be over 21 years old for undergraduate courses

  • be over 24 years old for postgraduate courses

  • receive a qualifying social welfare payment

  • enrol in the qualifying course

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out a local resource for the latest on this topic.

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