Dáil Éireann - Volume 688 - 09 July, 2009

Written Answers. - Social Insurance.

Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position regarding the status of the employer’s PRSI exemption scheme in view of the policy changes in budget 2009. [29353/09]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: From 2003, the employer’s PRSI exemption scheme was aligned directly with the back to work allowance scheme (employee strand). The scheme exempted employers from their share of the PRSI contribution in respect of recipients of the back to work allowance for the first two years of their employment. The employee’s share of the PRSI contributions was payable in the normal way.

In order to respond effectively to the growing numbers on the Live Register and the current employment situation, it was decided in the context of the recent supplementary budget to refocus resources on the enterprise strand of the back to work allowance which supports people into self employment. The employee strand of the back to work allowance (BTWA) was closed to new applicants from the 1 st May 2009 and since the employer’s PRSI exemption scheme applied only to BTWA employees it also ceased from that date. Where an employer had established an entitlement to an exemption for an existing BTWA employee it will continue for the normal duration.

It is not intended to replace this scheme at present. However, the range and qualifying conditions for the department’s employment support schemes will continue to be monitored in the light of changing economic circumstances.