The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme must benefit the community.

The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:

  • Energy conservation work in homes and community buildings
  • Social care of all age groups and people with disabilities
  • Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
  • Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation and sporting spaces
  • Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
  • Community administration and community event management
  • Coaching for sporting activities
  • Repair of equipment for the Third World – for example, farm tools, bicycles, computers, sewing machines, health equipment


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
  • Have been receiving a jobseeker’s payment (Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance) from the Department of Social Protection for at least 12 months; and
  • Be currently receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Unemployed people who are eligible for the scheme will be identified and contacted by their social welfare local office and offered the opportunity to participate in the scheme.


Individuals who agree to participate in the Tús scheme will be referred to County Wicklow Partnership, where they will be recruited for a suitable placement when it becomes available.

Participants on Tús can take up other employment provided it does not interfere with the work and times of the Tús work placement. If participants are offered alternative work or training they may terminate their work placement contract if they wish.

Participants will work for 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 12 months. They will receive the same statutory annual leave and public holiday entitlement as other employees.

When the placement finishes, they should sign on again with their local social welfare office. They cannot participate in the Tús scheme again for 3 years.

The payment is the full Jobseeker’s Allowance rate plus €20 a week. Participants aged under €25 will be paid the maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance plus €20. They will retain any secondary benefits and the medical card provided they are still eligible.

2011 weekly rates

Personal rate €208

Increase for a qualified adult €124.80 maximum*

Increase for a qualified child: full-rate €29.80

Increase for a qualified child: half-rate €14.90

*The amount of the Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) is assessed by the Department of Social Protection. This means that the IQA rate may be reduced if the qualified adult has income, for example, from part-time employment.

A participant will be paid the full Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) if they qualify for an IQA or if they are parenting alone. If they do not qualify for an IQA, they may receive a half-rate QCI.

The Tús payment is taxable but the amount payable depends on individual circumstances. Class A PRSI contributions will be paid for all participants.

Participants on the Tús scheme are exempt from the Universal Social Charge.

There is no application process for unemployed people who are eligible for this scheme. Potential participants will be selected and contacted by their social welfare local office.

 Community and voluntary organisations – work placements

The work placements are proposed and provided by community and voluntary organisations. The organisations must provide good quality work opportunities that are of benefit to the community. Organisations with a proposed work placement should register with County Wicklow Partnership. They will be asked to submit a proposal detailing the work and the number of participants requested. County Wicklow Partnership will assess and make a decision on the proposal.

Community and voluntary organisations interested in providing Tús work placement opportunities should register with County Wicklow Partnership.

More detailed information about Tús in this list of frequently asked questions on the website of the Department of Social Protection.