The ‘Back to Work Family Dividend’, introduced in January, is supporting over 400 families in Galway and 228 in Mayo.
The figures were supplied by way of Dáil question which I raised in in the Dáil with Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton.
The Back to Work Family Dividend’ was introduced as part of Budget 2015 and provides support for to a person who as they move from a weekly social welfare payment into employment or self-employment.
The Dividend enables a person to keep the portion of their payment, usually Jobseekers, that is paid for children. The full amount is retained for the first year with half the rate payable in the second year. This means that over two years a family will receive additional support of €2,324 per child, up to a maximum of four children, to help with the transition into employment or self-employment.
The Back to Work Family Dividend’ is a practical support for families that’s provided at the right time – when a person is getting back to work or starting their own business. The Dividend is supporting 412 families in Galway and 228 in Mayo directly but is also benefiting local businesses and the local economy.
Dáil question to Minister Joan Burton:
Question No: 98 Ref No: 40101-15
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will report on the uptake of the Back to Work Family Dividend; if there are figures available on a county basis; and if the scheme is subject to review to ascertain its effectiveness.
– Seán Kyne.
R E P L Y
The back to work family dividend (BTWFD) aims to help families to move from a weekly social welfare payment into employment. It gives financial support to people with children who were in receipt of a jobseeker or one-parent family payment and who take up employment, increase their hours of employment or become self-employed.
There were just over 10,000 applicants with approximately 9,700 of these in receipt of the back to work family dividend by the end of October 2015. The dividend is providing support in respect of over 16,000 children. A breakdown by county is appended below.
The back to work family dividend provides support for up to two years after a person moves from a weekly social welfare payment into employment. If a person qualifies for the dividend for their first year in employment they will get a weekly payment equivalent to the increases for qualified children they were being paid on their jobseeker or one-parent family payment. This is up to a maximum of 4 children.
Half that weekly amount will be paid for the second year in employment. This means that over the two years, a family with one child will receive additional support of €2,324 to supplement wages. A family with two children will receive €4,649; those with three children will get €6,973, while those with four or more will get €9,298.
The ESRI in their June 2015 report “Making Work Pay More: Recent Initiatives” found that in the first year of the dividend the proportion of families with children facing a replacement rate of over 70% fell from 39% to 32%. They also found that the dividend results in the proportion of jobseekers that would be financially better off not working decreases from 1 in 15 to 1 in 20.
As the dividend is additional to any entitlement the family may have under the family income supplement (FIS) scheme it is very effective in further improving the work incentives for people with children.
My officials are constantly monitoring take up of the scheme and seeking ways to improve awareness of the dividend among jobseekers. My Department has given an undertaking to formally review the operation and effectiveness of the dividend by the end of 2017.
BTWFD Claimants by County at end October 2015
*Please note the table above is based on the County of the Local Office rather than the customer address.