There are various financial schemes available from the government to support employers in retaining an employee who acquires a disability or long term illness.
Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grants can be accessed by employers in the private sector to meet the needs of employees with disabilities. A grant is available up to a maximum of €6,350 and may be used towards the costs of adapting equipment or premises.
The Wage Subsidy Scheme offers financial incentives for employers in the private sector to employ people with disabilities who work more than 20 hours per week. Where it is perceived that there is a productivity shortfall of 20% or more for a disabled employee in comparison to a non-disabled peer, the employer can apply for a subsidy of €5.30 per hour.
Employers can contact their local Employment Services Office or Citizens Information Centre to inquire about these two schemes. Further information can also be found at www.welfare.ie.
The Disability Awareness Training Support Scheme is a grant that employers can access to source disability awareness training for their staff. The purpose of the training is to deliver clear and accurate information about disability and to address questions or concerns that employers and employees may have about working with people with disabilities.
The training is aimed at providing participants with an understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding disability, including:
- An overview of relevant anti-discrimination and equal opportunities legislation
- General and specific information on disabilities, perceptual awareness exercises and disability etiquette
Grants of 90% of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of €20,000, are available to private companies in the first year and 80% in the second and subsequent years. Eligible costs include actual fees paid in respect of external programmes trainer’s fees for in-house staff training, open learning/computer/web based training programme fees and learning materials e.g. manuals, books, clearly associated with the relevant training programme to a maximum of €650.
Contacts for the Disability Awareness Training Support Scheme can be found at www.welfare.ie.
The Employee Retention Grant Scheme is designed to help employers in the private sector to retain an employee who has acquired an illness or disability that impacts on their ability to do their job. The grant facilitates employers to implement a retention strategy so that the employee can either remain in his/her current role or be re-trained so that they can take up employment in another department. Further information on this grant and contact details for the scheme can be found on www.welfare.ie.