Employer Recruitment Incentive Framework

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Employer Recruitment Incentive Framework outlines the national minimum standards for publicly funded Employer Recruitment Incentives (ERIs).

The ERI Framework has been developed to integrate and link fully with existing employability and skills programmes.

ERIs play an important role in supporting those who face the greatest barriers to entering employment, to help them obtain and remain in sustainable employment by contributing towards the additional costs of recruiting and retaining eligible individuals in employment. They also help stimulate demand in the labour market and encourage the creation of good quality jobs that support a greener, fairer, and stronger labour market.

ERIs can be used in several ways, such as for additional supervisory costs, training, initial travel to work costs, specialist in work support, or wages.

The Framework is available in a downloadable PDF document (447KB) on the Employability in Scotland website. It contains information on:

  • objectives of the Framework and ERIs
  • which individuals are eligible for support from an ERI
  • minimum employment conditions and criteria that must be met
  • minimum responsibilities of employers
  • the minimum amount and duration of ERI payments

The Framework came into effect from 1 April 2021. It was developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with local governments.

Am I eligible?

ERIs are a beneficiary employment support measure and relate to the eligible individual’s post code, but the employer can be located throughout Scotland.

Employers from all sectors are eligible for ERI. There is no restriction on the size of employer, but private SMEs and third sector organisations (including social enterprises) will be given priority.

Employers who employ individuals on precarious or flexible contracts inappropriately – for example zero-hour contracts – will not be eligible.

Individuals, including graduates, are eligible for ERI support if they are unemployed (or on a paid work experience programme such as Kickstart and Community Jobs Scotland) and if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • disabled and or D/deaf person (includes those experiencing mental health issues and those who have an impairment or long-term health condition)
  • care-experienced young people
  • primary carer
  • person with a conviction (including CPOs)
  • person aged over 50 years
  • no or limited work experience
  • early leavers from the armed forces, veterans, and ex-forces personnel
  • long-term unemployed (6 months or over) who are not on Community Work Placements
  • person who has failed their ESA Work Capability Assessment
  • people from ethnic minority backgrounds and racial groups, with a targeted approach informed by local population data
  • gypsy/travelling community
  • partner of current or ex-Armed Forces personnel
  • person requiring support with language, literacy, or numeracy, including those for whom English is an additional language
  • lone parent
  • low skilled
  • young person who was receiving additional support for learning in school · Refugee or other granted leave to stay in the UK
  • homeless person (including temporary or unstable accommodation)
  • person affected by substance misuse
  • living in a household with children in poverty
  • person living in the 15% most employment-deprived SIMD geographies, based on the ESF Scottish Local Authority Employment Deprived Area Postcodes list
  • person living in an area defined as ‘rural area’ or ‘very remote rural’
  • living in a jobless household

What does this cost?

This is a free service. However, employers and local partnerships may supplement the ERI.

Who is this for?

All businesses in Scotland.

How long does this take?

It will take around 10 minutes to read the Framework document.

Important information

Employers should use ERIs to fill vacancies and create new and additional jobs. Employers cannot use ERI funding to:

  • create a job to cover sickness or maternity leave
  • replace a redundant post

The number of individuals an employer can recruit and support using ERI will be determined on a case by case basis and determined by the local delivery partner.

Participants must receive a written contract of employment within 2 months of starting – this should be a permanent contract or a fixed term contract for up to 18 months or more.

Participants must work a minimum of 16 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week in line with working time regulations (exceptions apply in some circumstances – see Framework document for full details).

All employers in receipt of an ERI should promote and embed fair work in line with the Fair Work First Guidance.

The ERI can be aligned to other employability programmes where appropriate to support the sustainability of employment. However, they can’t be used at the same time.

Next steps

Visit the Employability in Scotland website for more information and to download the Framework.

You can also get further information on the application process, terms, and conditions on ERIs for your area from your local employability lead.

Support provided by Scottish Government

Help us improve findbusinesssupport.gov.scot

We appreciate your feedback but we cannot reply to questions submitted here. Use our contact form if you need a reply. Please don't include personal or financial information like your contact details, national insurance number or credit card details.