The Department of Social Protection offer some grants and schemes in relation to the employment of people with disabilities. These grants and schemes can also benefit the employer in providing you with reasonable accommodation.
Click the grant type below to have further information drop down.
Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive but is simply a summary for readers. It is not, and should not be taken as, a legal interpretation of grant availability.
Job Interview Interpreter Grant
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you may benefit from the Job Interview Interpreter Grant under the Reasonable Accommodation Fund. There are two situations in where the grant can be used;
- at a job interview
- training during the induction period when you start a new job
The fund will pay a professional qualified interpreter for a 3 hour period including travel costs.
How to apply
You can apply for the grant, by filling in 2 forms. You can download these here; Part 1 (pdf) and Part 2 (pdf) or visit your local employment office. You must get prior approval of the grant before your interview from your local employment office.
The Citizen’s Information website have very useful information and guidance on advice on how to use an interpreter at an interview and also where to ask for assistance on filling in the form.
Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Wage Subsidy Scheme provides financial support for employers who wish to employ people with disabilities. There are 3 different strands of the grant;
- A subsided rate of €5.30 per hour for a disabled employee who has a productivity level of between 80% or less (compared to other staff). The employee must work at least 21 hours a week up to a maximum of 39 hours a week.
- If a company has 2 or more disabled employees, they can apply for a grant to cover additional supervisory, management and other work related costs.
- If a company has 30 or more disabled employees, a grant of €30,000 per year can be sought to employ an Employment Assistance Officer.
The employer pays the going rate for the job, as per any other employee
How to apply
The employer must apply for the grant by contacting their local employment services and completes an employer application form and bank authorisation form. The employee i.e. you must complete an Employee Application Form.
The Citizen’s Information website provide more information regarding the criteria and also the minimum and maximum rates allowed.
Personal Reader Grant
If you are blind or visually impaired need assistance with job-related reading, you may be entitled to a grant to allow you to employ a Personal Reader on a part-time or ad-hoc basis for a maximum of 640 hours a year.
How to apply
You must apply for the grant by downloading the forms here; Part 1 and Part 2 ; or visit your local employment office. You must also specify the number of hours and amount of reading required with your employer and the Department of Social Protection.
The Citizen’s Information website have more details on the application process and provide guidance in how to advertise and recruit a personal reader.
Workplace Equipment / Adaptation Grant
If you require a more accessible workplace, adaptations or equipment to do your job, a grant is available for this. The maximum grant available per employee per workplace is €6,350. You can get this grant for things such as;
- purchasing a piece of assistive technology
- minor building modifications (e.g. installing ramps or bathroom handrails)
How to Apply
Either you or the employer can apply for the grant, by filling in 2 forms. You can download these here; Part 1 and Part 2 ; or visit your local employment office. You will need to identify what kind of equipment and/or adaptation is required and why plus provide quotes.
The Citizen’s Information website have more detail on the application process and also the rules of the application.
Disability Awareness Training Grants
Employers who wish to carry out Disability Awareness Training for their staff are eligible to receive up to 90% of the costs with a maximum of €20,000 in the first year and 80% in the second and subsequent years. The training must be delivered by a registered provider with the Department of Social Protection and will offer advice on;
- Relevant anti-discrimination and equal opportunities legislation
- General and specific information on disabilities, perceptual awareness exercises and disability etiquette
How to apply
The employer must contact their local employment services office who will also provide a list of registered trainers. You can find more information here.
The Citizen’s Information website have more details on the application process and type of activities that the grant can be used for.
Employee Retention Grant Scheme
If you acquire a disability, a grant is available for the employer to help identify the supports you may now need or to be re-trained to remain or move into a different position in the company. There are two stages to the scheme with different levels of funding available at each stage;
- The first stage enables employers to buy in external skills and expertise in order to develop a personal retention strategy for the employee in question. Up to 90% of the costs of developing a strategy can be funded up to a maximum of €2,500 for one employee.
- Stage two of the scheme provides funding to the employer for the implementation of the retention strategy including re-training, job coaching and hiring of an external project manager to oversee and manage its implementation. Funding up to 90% of eligible programme costs is available up to a maximum of €12,500.
How to apply
The employer must contact their local employment services office or complete the following forms which must be accompanied by certain documentation. Download the application forms; Stage 1 and Stage 2.
The Citizen’s Information website have more details on the application process and what type of accompanying documentation is needed for each application.