Tús is a community work placement initiative announced in Budget 2011 and which became operational later that year. The initiative is designed to provide work placement opportunities for people who are unemployed.

Tús aims to break the cycle of joblessness and help improve a person’s work readiness and 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 opportunities to experience different work environments and provide 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 (DEASP) on an equal funding basis.

Tús is delivered and managed at local level through the network of local development companies (sometimes referred to as Partnership or Leader companies). Údarás na Gaeltachta delivers and manages the initiative in Gaeltacht areas.

West Cork Development Partnership is responsible for the delivery of Tus throughout west Cork. WCDP manages the day-to-day implementation of Tús and the supervision of participants on behalf of the DEASP. WCDP is also responsible for advertising and promoting the initiative and identifying suitable work placements and community groups in the west Cork area. WCDP is responsible for evaluating and selecting organisations which wish to provide work opportunities.

To be eligible:

For the most part, selection is by way of random selection conducted by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. That said the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has made amendments to the selection criteria and 30% of available places can now be filled by assisted/self-referral. From 1st February 2018 this number was increase to 30%.

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 an individual 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).
  • Be 18 years of age or over, fully unemployed and in receipt of Disability Allowance (no qualifying period applies, applications by self-referral only).

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

Click the links below for more information on each

If an individual is randomly selected by DEASP

Potential Tús participants are identified by random selection by DEASP. Once randomly selected, the DEASP writes to each suitable individual selected, offering them the opportunity to be considered for a work placement opportunity and requesting their consent to have their contact details shared with West Cork Development Partnership. Those agreeing to participate and to having their contact details shared with West Cork Development Partnership are then referred to West Cork Development Partnership. West Cork Development Partnership will then contact the potential participant and invite them for an initial assessment interview to determine their interest, work and educational background and other relevant facts in order to attempt to find a suitable work placement.

Assisted/Self –Referral– Maximum 30% of Places

While the majority of people referred for Tús are selected on a random basis by the Department, 30% of available places can be filled by assisted or self-referral. The assisted/self-referral affords a number of DEASP customers who fulfil the qualifying criteria the opportunity to avail of short-term quality work placements and break the cycle of unemployment.

A Tús application can be handed in to West Cork Development Partnership or the Local Intreo office. West Cork Development Partnership should forward the application to the Local Intreo Office.

The “Tús 7 Assisted-Self Referral form and Case Office recommendation Jan 18” must be mediated through a Case Officer in the local Intreo office. The Case Officer will meet or contact the jobseeker to establish the reasons they wish to be considered for the Tús initiative and verify eligibility criteria. In all self-referral cases, the Tús recommendation must be completed by the Case Officer. The Case Officer must be satisfied that the eligibility criteria are met and it is in the best interest of the customer to participate on Tús.

The application form along with the signed recommendation sheet must be sent to the Divisional Liaison Officer (DLO) by the Case Officer who will liaise with the West Cork Development Partnership.


In general, no exemptions to participating on Tús are provided. However, subject to certain conditions and provision of documentary proof a person may seek not to take up the offer of a work placement on Tús if they are to take up employment, or engage in other activation, training or education measures.

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

The minimum weekly payment for participants (based on 19.5 hours worked) is €259.50. If the actual Jobseeker’s Allowance you were getting (including increases for dependants) was €232 a week or less, then you will get the minimum Tús payment of €259.50 per week, (that is €232 plus €27.50).If your actual weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance (including any increases for dependants) was €232.01 or more, then you will get the equivalent rate plus €27.50 (there are some exceptions to this). Participants may receive extra allowances in respect of a qualified adult and qualified child(ren).

Arrangements for Persons on Age reduced Social Welfare Payments

Individuals 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 Ceases

Participants do not continue to receive social welfare payments for the duration of their engagement on Tús.

Changes in pay resulting from a Change in Circumstances

Participants are under an obligation to advise West Cork Development Partnership of any change in circumstances that may impact on the value of their weekly payment. The rate of payment is calculated by reference to the underlying value of the social welfare payment prior to taking up engagement on Tús.

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.


Participants are not encouraged to exit Tús before completing 12 months unless it is to take up full-time employment or education. In cases where an individual exits Tús for reasons other than the taking up of full-time employment or education, they may be penalised by being disqualified from receiving a Jobseeker’s Allowance payment for up to nine weeks under the provisions of Section 147(4) of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005.

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. West Cork Development Partnership will inform the Revenue Commissioners as participants commence on Tús 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 dependant 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.

Work Placements And Nature Of Work

West Cork Development Partnership plays the lead-role in identifying organisations to provide placement opportunities.

Those organisations eligible to participate must be:

  • Community, voluntary and not-for-profit in nature, including Implementing Bodies (WCDP), other than Údarás na Gaeltachta; and
  • Have a recognised informal (parish/community committee, trade, sporting, cultural or other association) or formal/legal structure (a company limited by guarantee, not-for-profit co-operative or friendly society where profits or surpluses are not distributed to members); and
  • Demonstrate a track record of working with or providing services to and within their communities; and
  • Demonstrate a capability of managing a participant in a placement with the supervisory support of the Implementing Body.

Community organisations engaged in the provision of local services with the support of other publicly supported programmes such as the Community Services Programme, Community Employment Scheme, Jobs Initiative and/or the Rural Social Scheme and voluntary organisations funded by the Health Services Executive or by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs are considered eligible insofar as the placements do not displace or substitute employment supported under relevant programmes. Additionally, Citizens Information Centres and Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) are eligible.

Those organisations that are ineligible:

  • Public bodies (local authorities, voluntary education committees, Health Service Executive) or the functions that are the statutory responsibility of these bodies are not eligible for support.
  • Similarly, individuals, sole traders, corporate or private bodies, commercial entities (for profit bodies or organisations) offering work placements are not considered to be eligible work placement providers for this initiative.
  • Fee paying schools and colleges are not eligible for support.

Work Measures

In general, all works and services undertaken or delivered by the community and voluntary sectors for the benefit of the general community or specific sectors can be considered eligible. Selected opportunities will fall within, and not be restricted, to the following broad categories of work:

Environmental services, to include

  • Energy conservation work in low income homes and community buildings
  • Renovation of community and sporting facilities
  • Development, regeneration and enhancement of community spaces, gardens, parks, leisure areas, including sport grounds and school grounds where services are not otherwise provided
  • Neighbourhood, village and countryside enhancement, including clean-up
  • Recycling and repair of equipment, including furniture, tools, bicycles, and IT items

Caring services, to include

  • Social care for all persons with such needs
  • Personal aide to any person with particular needs due to ill-health, limited or restricted mobility
  • Services for children in crèches and childcare settings
  • Preparation and delivery of meals for older people or those with limited income
  • Visitation, friendly call and befriending programmes for older people, those with mental health needs and those confined to home

General community services, to include

  • Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
  • Administration, web design, social media, reception, production of newsletters
  • Community research and evaluation, including genealogy
  • Event management, promotion and administration
  • Retail services in charity or community settings
  • Promotion and support for volunteering

Heritage and cultural services, to include

  • Promotion of the Irish language and cultural activities
  • Development and maintenance of walking, cycling and leisure trails
  • Administration, marketing and promotion of local heritage sites and events
  • Staffing of cultural, tourism and heritage centres

Para-educational services, to include

  • Administration, caretaking and other non-teaching or classroom supports
  • Services for children in crèches and childcare settings
  • Early years and after-school supports for children and young people
  • Literacy, numeracy and related supports for adults and children or those with limited command of the English or Irish languages
  • Assistance with recreational opportunities for adults/young people including coaching, training, art/music classes
  • Actions to develop or support the school completion programme and related initiatives

Contact Information

Tús Coordinator :Arran O Driscoll, , West Cork Development Partnership, 3rd Floor, Credit Union Building, Clonakilty, Co. Cork 02388/34035 or arran@wcdp.ie

Tús Supervisor: Paul Johnson – 086 3289631 and/or paul@wcdp.ie (Bandon and environs)

Tús Supervisor: Rory O Driscoll – 087 7779115 and/or rory@wcdp.ie (Kinsale and Clonakilty  environs)

Tús Supervisor: Sam Simpson – 087 9449572 and/or sam@wcdp.ie (Skibbereen and environs)

Policy and general operational responsibility rests with the Tús Unit within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).

This unit is based in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim. The contact details for the Unit are: Tús Unit, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon,Co. Sligo

Tel: 071 – 9672519

LoCall: 1890 927 999

Fax: 071 – 9672553

Email: tusinfo@welfare.ie