I have heard that that in some EU countries such as Ireland, an employer can receive a €10,000 per year subsidy for simply employing a person who has been unemployed for a certain length of time. Additionally, if you employ low paid or even free workers, you can also be entitled to this subsidy. Is this true?
In Ireland there is a scheme called JobsPlus, which is intended to incentivise employers to employ the long-term unemployed. It has two rates, €7,500 and €10,000, depending on the circumstances of the individual unemployed person.
Countries anywhere in the world are free to grant subsidies as a means to achieve goals they want to achieve. Getting people back into work who have been unemployed for a long time is both socially good ( a country should try to improve everyone’s well-being) and also financially very good (turning welfare recipients into tax payers is doubly good for a country’s economy).
So yes, it is quite possible that such subsidies exist.