Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

The Department of Social Protection's mission is to promote active participation and inclusion in society through the provision of income supports, employment services and other services.

The department is the largest payment organisation in the State. It also operates the public employment service and directly funds a wide range of employment programmes and citizen advisory services.

The department plays a key role in two of the major government policy domains – the distribution and re-distribution of income to assure social cohesion and equity of economic outcomes, and the efficient operation of the supply side of the labour market.


Short Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) supports you if you have lost your job and want to start your own business. The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 9 months. It ends when your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit ends (that is, at either 9 or 6 months).for further details click here  

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years. Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is a payment made by the department to people aged under 66.

for further details click here 

Enterprise Support Grant

The Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) allows the department to provide financial support for new enterprises, in addition to income support under Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA), to jobseekers that are approved for those schemes. The grant is available to current recipients of BTWEA or STEA. The maximum amount payable is €2,500 for the 24-month period of the BTWEA claim. For those on STEA it will be on a pro-rata basis €1000 Max (9 months) and €625 Max (6 months).


JobsPlus is an employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. Employers are paid an incentive monthly in arrears over a 2-year period. It provides 2 levels of regular payments, €7,500 and €10,000 respectively. Eligible employers who recruit full-time employees on or after 1 July 2013 may apply for the incentive. The European Commission provides co-funding to JobsPlus for participants under 25 years. JobsPlus is jointly backed by the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department of Social Protection on an equal funding basis. 


For further information about any of the above, please contact the Local Intreo Office covering County Kilkenny

Kilkenny Intreo Centre Government Buildings, Hebron Road, Kilkenny, R95 NH73 (056)7715100

Thomastown Branch Office Lowe Street, Thomastown, Kilkenny, R95 D658 (056)7754080
Rathdowney Branch Office Main Street, Rathdowney, Co. Laois, R32 RY26 (0505)46920