Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

Penalty Rates for Jobseekers Payments

When you sign on for jobseeker’s payments you’ll have to sign a Record of Mutual Commitments


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


Share this article -

Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit are payments you can get if you’re unemployed. You have an automatic right to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, while you have to build up enough in-work PRSI payments before you can access Jobseeker’s Benefit. Both payments are dependent on you actively seeking work or being involved in education or training. They also have several other rules and requirements. If you’re in breach of these, you may be put on “penalty rates” until you either meet the requirements or have your payments cut off entirely. 

When you sign on for jobseeker’s payments you’ll have to sign a Record of Mutual Commitments. This sets out what the Department of Social Protection expects from you and what you are legally entitled to expect of them. If you don’t follow the terms of this document, you will be put on penalty rates. Specifically, you can be put on penalty rates for not attending meetings requested by the Department or for failing to take part in appropriate employment schemes, work experience or training recommended to you.

If you are still on penalty rates after 21 days you will have your payments stopped for up to nine weeks. You can’t have your payments cut off unless you’ve already spent a full 21 days on penalty rates. You can get back to your original rate by engaging with the Department and taking part in the training, work experience or employment schemes they recommend.

Penalty Rates for Jobseeker’s Allowance

What to do if you’ve been put on penalty rates unfairly

If you feel you’ve been put on penalty rates unfairly you can appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. This could be because you were put on penalty rates even though you’ve been engaging with all the requests of the Department, or if you had your payments cut off without spending a full 21 days on penalty rates. The Social Welfare Appeals Office is based in D’Olier House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 and you can contact them via post at this address. You can locall them on 1890 747 434 or email swappeals@welfare.ie. Their website is www.socialwelfaresppeals.ie.

Share this article -

Published November 25th, 2016
Last updated March 30th, 2017
Tags jobseeker unemployed unemployment
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by SpunOut.ie directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?