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Tús (community work placement initiative)

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Tús (community work placement initiative) is

The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.

The Tús initiative is managed by local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, which has overall responsibility for the scheme. Participants work 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 12 months.

All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme is community-based.

The types of projects eligible for the scheme may include:

  • environmental services (for example, conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
  • caring services (for example, childcare, care of older people)
  • general community services (for example, newsletters or information provision for communities)
  • heritage and cultural services (for example, local heritage project)

How to qualify

To qualify for the Tús scheme, you must:

  • have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and "signing on" on a full-time basis
  • have been receiving a jobseeker's payment (Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance) from the department for at least 12 months
  • be currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance

Unemployed people who are eligible for the scheme will be identified and contacted by their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office and offered the opportunity to participate in the scheme. Since May 2015, some Tús places can be filled through self-referral by potential participants.

If you agree to participate in the Tús scheme you will be referred to your local development company or Údarás na Gaeltachta, where you will be recruited for a suitable placement when it becomes available.

As there are only limited places available on the scheme, not all eligible unemployed people will be contacted.

Rates of payment

The minimum weekly payment for participants (based on 19.5 hours worked) is €225.50.

If the actual Jobseeker’s Allowance you were getting (including increases for dependants) was €198 a week or less, then you will get the minimum Tús weekly rate of €225.50 (that is €203 plus €22.50).

If your actual weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance (including any increases for dependants) was €198.01 or more, then you will get the equivalent rate plus €22.50 (there are some exceptions to this).

Participants will retain any extra benefits and the medical card, provided they are still eligible.


In general, there is no application process for unemployed people who are eligible for this scheme. Potential participants will be selected and contacted by their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

Self-referrals should be made to your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

Community and voluntary organisations interested in providing Tús work placement opportunities should register with their local development company or their Udarás na Gaeltachta office.

Tús Unit

071 9672553
Tús Unit, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon
(Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.

Operational Guidelines: Tús – Community work placement initiative.