Job Start Payment

Job Start Payment (previously Job Grant) is a new payment currently in development to help young people with the costs associated with the transition into the workplace, after a period of time out of paid work.

You can’t apply for Job Start Payment yet as we’re still developing it. Once a launch date has been decided we will publicise this so that people who are eligible know how to apply for the payment.

When it is launched it will be delivered by Social Security Scotland.

We ran a consultation on our proposals for the Job Grant (Job Start Payment) which closed on 9 April 2019 and an independent analysis report of the consultation results was published in July 2019.

Job Start Payment is expected to consist of a one-off cash payment of £250, or £400 for a young person with children. This will be available to those between the age of 16 to 24 who have been out of paid work for six months prior to finding employment.

This payment could help with travel costs or could be used for clothing, lunches and other expenses that need to be met by someone entering work after a lengthy period of unemployment and ahead of their first salary. It will complement our wider initiatives that support people into employment, such as Fair Start Scotland.

We are also proposing that Job Start Payment extends to care leavers on a qualifying benefit, in recognition of the additional challenges they face moving into employment. Care leavers will not be required to have been out of paid work for six months, and will be eligible for a year longer – until their 26th birthday.

Why we are introducing Job Start Payment

Evidence shows that unemployment rates for young people in Scotland are consistently higher than those for other age groups.  

Young people who are not in education, training or employment are at higher risk of poorer physical and mental health outcomes (e.g. anxiety, depression) than other young people who are consistently in education or employment.

Who can claim Job Start Payment

We previously consulted on key eligibility criteria for Job Grant (Job Start Payment). The criteria has been developed following discussion with young people and their representative organisations. We expect that eligibility will be determined through tests carried out by Social Security Scotland on the date of application.  

The consultation also proposed support is extended for care leavers, recognising that they may face particular challenges moving into employment.

The proposed main eligibility conditions are:

  • aged 16 to 24 years inclusive (apart from care leavers who will be eligible for a year longer) and who have not previously received a Job Start Payment
  • out of paid work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit for six months or more (except for care leavers who only need to be on a qualifying benefit at the time of the job offer and do not need to meet the time requirement)
  • ordinarily resident in Scotland
  • in receipt of a job offer for paid employment in the UK, which averages 16 hours per week or more over a four-week period, and is expected to last at least three months or more
  • applications to be made 14 days in advance of employment start date and up to 14 days after employment has commenced