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Employer Recruitment Incentive

West Lothian Council's Economic Development Service is committed to supporting local businesses and creating sustainable employment opportunities through the Employer Recruitment Incentive (ERI).

Are you interested in creating a position within your business for a West Lothian resident? The ERI offers funding to help you do this.

The ERI is a wage subsidy programme aimed at supporting local businesses and creating new employment opportunities for West Lothian residents. Successful applicants will receive 50% of the salary of the new employee (based on the employee receiving the Real Living Wage), for a minimum of 16 hours and up to a maximum of 40 hours per week up to 26 weeks.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The business must be based in West Lothian and have fewer than 250 employees
  • The funding application cannot be submitted for individuals already employed in the business. It must be for a new job or vacancy
  • The employee hired must be a West Lothian resident who is:
    • 16-24 years old and currently unemployed or underemployed (i.e., on a zero-hour contract), or
    • A parent with a dependent child, or
    • Aged 25+ and unemployed
  • Employees must have a contract of employment for a minimum of 16 hours per week and fall into one of these categories: permanent contract, fixed-term contract lasting 52 weeks or more, or fixed-term contract for the duration of an Apprenticeship. Companies using zero-hour contracts will not be eligible
  • Employees recruited through the ERI must receive a written contract of employment within two months of starting, as per legislative requirements
  • Employees must not begin until funding and candidate eligibility are confirmed.

Wage Requirements

  • To be eligible for the fund, you must pay at least the Real Living Wage, currently £12.00 per hour, to all new starts, existing employees and apprentices regardless of age
  • Employers must implement the Scottish Government's Fair Work First guidance, which includes:
    • Adherence to Fair Work First commitments, including payment of the Real Living Wage and providing appropriate channels for effective worker voice.

Payment and Monitoring

  • The wage subsidy programme will pay 50% of the employee's salary based on the Real Living Wage for a maximum of 40 hours per week, for up to 26 weeks
  • The wage subsidy funding is paid in two instalments: the first payment at the start of employment, and the second at 13 weeks
  • After 4 weeks you will be asked to upload proof of salary paid to the employee, in the form of one payslip and one bank statement. This will be requested again at 13 weeks and the second payment will be released based on the evidence.  The final evidence requirement will be at week 26 to complete the claim
  • The employee will receive ongoing support from an employment advisor and must register and present evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK, as well as proof of residence in West Lothian.

Please note that the Employer Recruitment Incentive is currently on hold. If you would like to be kept up to date when it launches again, please email 

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