Job Seekers

How to use the Local Employment Service

To use our service contact any of our offices to make an appointment to see one of our Employment Mediators. They will help you to make the most of our support and guidance services to assist you in finding employment by: Services for Job Seekers • Exploring your skills and aptitudes • Examining your strengths and weaknesses • Making a realistic career path plan • Giving you support and advice • Providing information on training and education • Assisting you in looking for work • Referring you to other appropriate services where necessary Services for Job Seekers from Big Red Box media The service is free and confidential The Dublin South City Local Employment Service is a community-based service aimed at helping unemployed job-seekers in Bluebell, Islandbridge, Inchicore, Kilmainham and Rialto return to work.

How to avail of our services:

All you need to do is contact one of our offices listed here:

Who can use the Dublin South City Local Employment Service?

Who can use the Dublin South City Local Employment Service?
The service is available for unemployed job-seekers in the Dublin South City Partnership area who wish to return to work or to access appropriate further training and education options.
The service is also available for:
• Dependant spouses of the unemployed
• Lone parents
• Early school leavers
• Those seeking to return to work, experiencing discrimination or disadvantage.

Are you ready to take some practical steps to help you get back to work?
If so, your Local Employment Service has a range of services that may be of some help to you.
The DSCLES offers a friendly, confidential and informal service to assist unemployed job seekers with:
• Career planning and career guidance
• Job searching
• C.V. and interview preparation
• Confidence building
• Information and access to training and education options
• Self-employment options

Community Employment Schemes (CE)

A Community Employment Scheme is an employment programme that helps long-term unemployed people to re-enter the active workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return-to-work routine. The programme assists them to enhance and develop both their technical and personal skills which can then be used in the workplace. These schemes are funded through the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection (DEASP).

The CE programme is sponsored by groups wishing to benefit the local community, namely voluntary organisations and public bodies involved in not-for-profit activities in the community.

To participate in a DEASP Community Employment Scheme, you must:

  • Register as unemployed at your local DEASP Office;
  • Meet certain eligibility criteria.

DEASP gives financial support in the form of allowances and funding to assist with the Community Employment programme, for example participant wages, supervisor grants, materials grants, and specific skills training grants.

The training provided through Community Employment is delivered within a Quality Assurance framework. See details of recognised FETAC Awards and qualifications which can be achieved and which lead to major awards on the National Framework of Qualifications.

A CE applicant who needs childcare in order to take up a place in a CE schemes is eligible for a CE childcare place. For further detail in relation to how CE childcare places are managed please contact your CE Sponsor or click here.

There are over 90 CE schemes accessible to people living within the Dublin South City Partnership area, so if you are looking to return to work after a period of unemployment, why not consider this as a pathway to get back into the workforce?

 To get more information about CE and establish your eligibility for the scheme contact us here


Tús provides opportunities for people who are unemployed to break the cycle of joblessness and helps to improve a person’s work readiness by support them in returning to the labour market. In addition, it is hoped that participation on Tús will boost a person’s motivation and confidence, offer them opportunities to experience different work environments and provide them with employment related experience to re-enter the labour market.

The European Commission is providing co-funding to Tús for participants under 25 years. Tús is jointly backed by the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on an equal funding basis.

In summary, Tús

  • Is an activation initiative for those who are unemployed and on the Live Register;
  • Supports the work readiness of those who participate;
  • Provides short-term and suitable work opportunities for people who are unemployed while at the same time carrying out beneficial work within communities, and
  • Contributes to the Department’s obligations to manage the Live Register.
  • Supports the development and delivery of services to improve community wellbeing.


Eligibility and Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility is confined to those on the Live Register for at least 12 months and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance. These provisions are to ensure a targeted approach to those who are long-term unemployed. Persons falling within the eligibility criteria can be randomly selected for participation.

To be eligible to participate in the Tús scheme you must:

  • Have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and “signing on” on a full-time basis; and
  • been receiving a jobseeker’s payment (Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance) from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for at least 312 days in the twelve months immediately prior to commencing on the scheme;
  • and be currently receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance. 


  • Persons in receipt of Jobseekers Transitional Payment  (in receipt of  OFP immediately prior to transferring to JST) and who are fully unemployed  – (no qualifying period applies in this case).


  • A refugee aged 18 years or older, authenticated by the Department of Justice & Law Reform (Garda Registrar Certificate with Stamp 4) and getting Jobseekers Allowance payment (no qualifying period applies).

Time spent on JobPath can count towards the qualifying time for Tús providing the person is currently receiving Jobseekers Allowance. Also, time spent in prison in this State may count towards the qualifying time for Tús providing the person is currently receiving Jobseekers Allowance. 


While the majority of people referred for Tús and Gateway are selected on a random basis by the Department, 20% of available places can be filled by assisted or self-referral since May 2015. The assisted/self-referral affords a number of customers who fulfil the qualifying criteria the opportunity to avail of short-term quality work placements and break the cycle of unemployment.

The 20% allocation is available to the Case Officers (CO) /Employment Mediators (EM) but it is up to each individual CO/EM to determine if Tús is a suitable progression option for an individual. Once a referral is agreed between a customer and a CO/EM the referral form is completed and submitted to the Tús programme in that region to be followed up on by the Tús Programme Leader. A Tús Team Leader will then contact the applicant directly to arrange a meeting.

Duration of Placement

Placements are for a maximum duration of 52 weeks. Participants are required to complete the 52 weeks placement unless they wish to take up an offer of full-time employment, education or training. Having completed a 52 week placement on Tús, a participant cannot subsequently re-participate on Tús for a minimum of 3 years.

Rates of Payment

Tús participants will receive a payment equivalent to their existing Jobseeker’s payment plus a ‘top-up’ of €22.50 per week, with a minimum payment of €210.50. Participants may receive extra allowances in respect of a qualified adult and qualified child(ren).

Arrangements for Persons on Age reduced Social Welfare Payments

Persons aged under 26 years, in receipt of an age related Jobseeker’s Allowance will receive the full rate while participating on Tús and then revert to the applicable age related rate following the completion of their Tús work placement.

Social Welfare Payment

Participants do not continue to receive social welfare payments whilst participating on Tús, their payment transfers to a Tús payment.

PRSI Contribution

Tús is regarded as income for income tax purposes; however, participants are exempt from paying the Universal Social Charge (USC). A PRSI contribution (‘A’ rate) is paid in respect of each participant by their employer and an employee PRSI contribution is only applicable when weekly earnings are over €352.00. Those earning in excess of €352.00 will pay a PRSI rate of 4% on their total income. Tús will inform the Revenue Commissioners as participants commence on a programme and Revenue will then allocate the appropriate tax credits and Tax Bands in respect of each individual participant. Participants are paid directly into their bank accounts by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on a weekly basis.

Secondary Benefits

Participation does not result in loss of secondary benefits such as medical card, fuel allowance, back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance. Entitlement to secondary benefits will be subject to the usual assessment processes operated by the appropriate Scheme Area of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or relevant Authority. Participants on Tús will still be required to meet the terms and conditions attached to the secondary benefits, as set out in order to continue to qualify for any such payments. Entitlement to fuel allowance cannot be established after you commence on Tús.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for Medical Cards and entitlement is dependent on personal circumstances. Applicants in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance for a period of 12 months or more are entitled to retain their Medical Card for three years on taking up employment from the date on which the employment commenced.

Hours of work and nature of work

Participants work 19½ hours per week for 52 weeks. Work placements are a valuable route for participants to gain or update experience of the workplace, to learn new skills and to return to the routine of work. Participants provide resources to maintain and improve local amenities and facilities in rural and urban communities with inputs being funded either by Tús itself or local community fund-raising or other income. Communities in turn benefit from the skills and talents of local people with a diverse repertoire of skills and abilities.

For more information on participating on a Tús programme, contact us here


Working Family Payment

Working Family Payment (WFP) is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to people on low pay. You cannot qualify for WFP if you are only self-employed – you must be an employee to qualify.

You must have at least one child who normally lives with you or is financially supported by you. Your child must be under 18 years of age or between 18 and 22 years of age and in full-time education.

To qualify for WFP, your average weekly family income must be below a certain amount for your family size. The WFP you receive is 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit which applies to your family. For more information about average family income see ‘Rates’ below.

Your WFP payment is not taxed. If you are getting WFP you may also be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. Your income from WFP is not taken into account in the assessment for a medical card.

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) and WFP can be paid together and the BTWFD will not be taken into account in the income test for WFP.


WFP is a tax-free weekly payment for employees who:

  • Work 38 or more hours per fortnight (any combination of hours that reaches 38 hours each fortnight is acceptable). You can combine your weekly hours with your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant’s hours to meet this condition. You cannot use time spent in self-employment (or on Community Employment, Gateway, Tús, JobBridge or the Rural Social Scheme) to meet this condition.
  • Where the employment is likely to last at least 3 months
  • Have one or more children who normally live with you and
  • Earn less than an amount set according to your family size

You must be employed in the Irish State and pay tax and PRSI here. Under EU regulations you may be able to claim WFP if your children are living abroad and dependent on you. Generally, the payment continues for one year (52 weeks) and is not affected by, for example, an increase or a decrease in earnings.

However, in the following 2 circumstances, your weekly rate of WFP can be revised during the year:

  • If you start to care for an additional child your WFP rate can be increased.
  • If you were getting a One-Parent Family Payment and your payment stopped because your youngest child reached the relevant OFP age limit your WFP rate can be revised (by disregarding the rate of OFP assessed in your most recent WFP income test).

Job changes

If your pay from work is reduced your Working Family Payment (WFP) payment will stay the same. It will not increase. However, when your WFP payment ends you can re-apply giving details of your new reduced income. (WFP is usually paid for 52 weeks. At the end of the 52 weeks, you can re-apply for WFP.)

If the number of hours you work each week is reduced to below 38 hours per fortnight you are no longer entitled to WFP. You should notify the WFP section if your hours fall below this minimum requirement.

If you move to a new job, your current entitlement to WFP will cease and you must notify the WFP section. You may re-apply for WFP for your new job.

If you lose your job you are no longer entitled to WFP. You must notify the WFP section.

Getting WFP with other social welfare payments

You cannot get WFP if you are on one of the following schemes or social welfare payments:

  • Community Employment Scheme, Gateway, Rural Social Scheme, or a Tús scheme.
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Transitional payment or Farm Assist
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance
  • Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme.

Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant can claim WFP while you are getting one of these payments. However an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) will no longer be paid and your social welfare payment will be assessed as income for their WFP payment. Any Increase for a Qualified Child will be affected. Similarly if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting one of these payments, you can qualify for WFP but an IQA will no longer be paid for you.

If you are parenting alone you may be entitled to WFP in addition to your One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension.

You can get Illness Benefit or Injury Benefit while you are getting WFP (for 6 consecutive weeks). If you are out of work for more than 6 consecutive weeks payment of WFP is suspended until you return to work and send a final certificate into the Illness Benefit or Occupational Injury Benefit section or until your WFP award period expires (whichever is the earlier).

Under the Maternity Protection Act 1994, a woman on maternity or adoptive leave is entitled to be treated as if she is in employment. This means that she can claim WFP (provided she meets the conditions of the WFP payment and has a family – a pregnant woman who has no other children does not qualify for WFP until the birth of the baby). Your income must be less than the income limit for your family size and is normally calculated using your gross earnings to date or your P60. Your WFP claim will then be paid for 52 weeks from the date you applied. You are not entitled to continue to claim WFP if you take additional unpaid maternity or adoptive leave, if you lose your job after returning to work or give up your employment.


A separated parent can apply for WFP once he or she meets the qualifying conditions and

  • Is living with the children or
  • Is wholly maintaining the ex-spouse, ex-civil partner or ex-cohabitant with whom the children are living

Wholly maintaining means that maintenance paid by you, the WFP applicant, must be the main income of your ex-spouse, ex-civil partner or ex-cohabitant. Your former spouse or partner cannot have more than €100 a week income in their own right and cannot be married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting.

WFP is awarded for 52 weeks. A person included in your WFP award cannot be paid WFP in their own right or be included in another WFP claim during that 52 week period.

Paying maintenance
If you are a separated parent and paying maintenance you may qualify for WFP. To qualify you must be wholly maintaining the parent with whom the children are living. Only one WFP payment can be made for a family so the parent to whom you are paying maintenance must not be getting WFP. You must supply written evidence from this person to show that they are getting maintenance.

If you are paying maintenance as a result of a court order or legally binding agreement for a second family, the amount of that maintenance payment will not be deducted from the income to be assessed for WFP.

Getting maintenance
If you are getting maintenance, your total maintenance payment will be assessed as income for WFP. This includes situations where rent or mortgage payments are made by an ex-spouse or partner under a maintenance agreement. If a house is in joint names and an ex-spouse or partner pays the mortgage 50% of this will be assessed as income for WFP. Only one WFP payment can be made for a family. This means that the parent from whom you are getting maintenance must not be getting WFP.

A parent getting maintenance for a qualified child will also have that maintenance assessed for WFP.


WFP is calculated on the basis of 60% of the difference between the income limit for the family size and the assessable income of the person(s) raising the child(ren). The combined income of a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting) is taken into account.

Income from any source (except for the disregards stated below) is assessed. The WFP income test does not assess capital. This includes property you own, bank accounts and cars. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) does assess income you get from tenants who rent a property you own, it may examine your bank accounts to check for other income sources and it may assess income derived from use of a car that you own (for example as a taxi).

The main items counted as income are:

  • Your assessable earnings and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s assessable earnings. (Assessable earnings are gross pay minus tax, employee PRSI, Universal Social Charge and superannuation (including the Public Service Pension Levy and contributions to Personal Retirement Savings Accounts.) Income from working as a home help is included.
  • Any extra income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant have from employment (such as pay for overtime, bonuses, allowances or commission).
  • Any income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may have from self-employment.
  • Income from occupational pensions.
  • Income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may have including social welfare payments and student grants.
  • All family income from carer’s payments (Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit).
  • Rental income from the letting of property or land (the capital value is not assessed). The gross rental income is assessed and you cannot deduct mortgage payments or other expenses. Rental income from renting a room in your house is included.

The following payments do not count as family income:

  • Child Benefit
  • Guardian’s payments
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Foster Child Allowance
  • Rent Allowance for tenants affected by the de-control of rents
  • Rent Supplement
  • Income from a charitable organisation
  • Income from providing accommodation to students studying Irish in Gaeltacht areas under a scheme administered by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
  • Any income your children may have

Calculating income for WFP

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) calculates your assessable earnings over a certain period of time.

Because WFP is paid over 52 weeks the DEASP tries to calculate your average earnings over a similar period of time. Normally they will use your latest P60 or your gross earnings up to the date of your application. If you are newly in employment, your average weekly income is calculated from when you started work with that employer.

Your P60 is also used to calculate your average weekly income when your claim is being renewed. If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is self-employed, his or her income over the 12-month period before you lodge your claim is used to work out his or her average weekly income.

Again, to qualify, your average weekly family income must be below a certain amount for your family size. You can read examples of calculations on

WFP income limits in 2017

WFP income limits in 2017

If you have:

And your weekly family income is less than:

One child


Two children


Three children


Four children


Five children


Six children


Seven children


Eight children


It’s important to be aware, that if you qualify for WFP, you get a minimum of €20 each week. You can use the Benefit of Work Ready Reckoner from the DEASP to help you assess out the financial consequences of taking up full-time work. The Reckoner works out the total amount you would receive on taking up full-time work (including any Working Family Payment) and compares this to what you are getting in jobseeker payments (including Rent Supplement).

If you are getting WFP you may also be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.


To apply fill in an application form for Working Family Payment (pdf). You can get a copy of this form in your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. If you need help to fill in this form, the staff in your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre can help you.

To make sure that your application for WFP is processed as quickly as possible, you should include your latest P60 form, your most recent pay slip, and a copy of your Certificate of Tax Credits for the current tax year with your application. If you have not received your P60 send in your week 52 pay slip for the last tax year.

Send your completed Working Family Payment application form to:

 Working Family Payment (WFP) Section

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road

Opening Hours: Phone line: 10:00am -12:30pm & 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Tel:(043) 334 0053 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call +353 43 334 0053)
Locall:1890 92 77 70 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD)

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support to people with qualified children who are in or take up employment or self-employment and as a result stop claiming a jobseeker’s payment or a one-parent family payment on or after 5 January 2015.

If you qualify for the scheme you will get a weekly payment for up to 2 years. You will be paid the equivalent of any Increase for Qualified Children that were being paid on your jobseeker or one-parent family payment (up to a maximum of 4 children) for the first year in employment. Half that amount will be paid weekly for the second year.

To qualify, you and all members of your family (including your adult dependent) must sign off all primary social welfare payments. The Back to Work Family Dividend can be paid with Working Family Payment (formerly Family Income Supplement) and some other non-primary social welfare payments. You can also claim certain short-term illness and injury benefits with BTWFD for up to 36 days (see ‘Other payments and BTWFD’ below). The habitual residence condition applies to BTWFD.

You may be eligible for the Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) if you have at least one qualified child and are getting one of the following payments:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit for at least 12 months (312 days of unemployment) of which at least 6 months (156 days of unemployment) must have been in the last year
  • One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional payment (paid to people who are not cohabiting with children aged between 7 and 13 years)

You can combine time on a jobseeker’s payment with time spent on education, training or employment schemes to meet the eligibility requirements. If you went from a qualifying payment to an education, training or employment scheme and then find work you can go directly onto the BTWFD scheme without having to sign back onto your original payment.

You must exit one of the qualifying payments or schemes to qualify for BTWFD. If you are not already in insurable employment or self-employment you must take up employment within 4 weeks of leaving your original payment or scheme. The employment must be in the State.

Note that if you were employed or self-employed and were getting OFP and your OFP has stopped because your youngest child has reached the age limit you may be eligible for BTWFD – if you do not sign onto another primary social welfare payment.

The Back to Work Family Dividend can be paid with Working Family Payment (WFP) and is not taken into account in the means test for WFP. It can also be paid if you are getting an Increase for a Qualified Adult on your payment for your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and they find work (and as a result you sign off your payment). However, you must meet all the conditions above and the Back to Work Family Dividend will be paid to you (as the recipient of the primary social welfare payment).

Other payments and BTWFD

You are not eligible for BTWFD if you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting a primary social welfare payment or is on an employment or training scheme. You cannot get BTWFD for a child on whose behalf an IQC or IQA is being paid or who is getting a payment in their own right. BTWFD is not paid together with the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

BTWFD can be paid with the following payments (to you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant):

  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Disablement Benefit and Death Benefit (under the OIB scheme)
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Working Family Payment
  • Exceptional and Urgent Needs payments under the SWA scheme
  • Guardian’s Payment (non-contributory)
  • Illness Benefit and Injury Benefit (under the OIB scheme) for 36 days
  • Mortgage Interest Supplement
  • Rent Supplement
  • Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant

BTWFD is not assessed as means for Rent Supplement.

You can claim BTWFD and Illness Benefit or Injury Benefit (under the OIB scheme) for 36 days (6 weeks). Your BTWFD will be suspended after the 36th day of your Illness or Injury Benefit claim.

Duration of the scheme

BTWFD will last for up to 2 years, if you remain in employment. If you claim a primary social welfare payment at any time within the 2-year period, the BTWFD payment will stop. If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant claims a payment the BTWFD payment will also stop.

If you lose your job and claim a social welfare payment the BTWFD stops but it may restart if you get a new job – to a maximum of 2 restarts per claim.


BTWFD is based on the standard Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) rate of €31.80. If you were getting a half-rate IQC with your payment you will get a standard rate BTWFD. There is a ceiling of €127.20 per week (4 children). You will be paid weekly by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in arrears.

BTWFD is not taxable.

How to apply

Contact your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office to get more information on the scheme. They will explain how the application process works and give you the application form. You can also get the form online (pdf).

You are generally paid BTWFD from the date of your claim. Deciding officers can backdate BTWFD for up to 6 months from your claim if there was good cause for the delay.

Send your application for the Back to Work Family Dividend to your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office.

Services for people requiring on-going or

increased support to return to work


EmployAbility provides an employment support service for people with a health condition, injury, illness or disability and a recruitment advice service for the business community.

Your local EmployAbility service will:

  • provide one-to-on support as needed through the services of a job-coach;
  • provide a professional job matching service to help ensure successful recruitment;
  • provide ongoing support for both the employer and employee throughout employment;
  • provide advice and information on additional employment supports.


To explore the possibility of a referral to EmployAbility contact us here

Pathways to Work Group Engagement Session (GES)

 This initiative is part of the Employment Activation Programme designed to assist people who are in receipt of a Job-seeker Benefit or Allowance payment to prepare for and enter or return to work.

What is activation?

Labour market activation policies are designed to give jobseekers a better chance of finding employment. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection describes activation as its engagement with jobseekers to support them back into employment. Jobseekers are expected to fully engage with this process and use the supports offered during the activation process which might include education or training schemes, employment support schemes to help them back into the workplace, internships and other supports.

Why have you been referred to us?

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP/Social Welfare) has requested that you attend Dublin South City Local Employment Service so that we can help you explore your employment options.

What happens next?

Following a group engagement session you will be allocated an appointment to meet with one of our Employment Mediators to discuss your plans regarding employment. We can give you further assistance in your search for employment through referrals to appropriate training, education and job searching programmes and one-to-one guidance meetings.