Hire in Ireland

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Ireland.

beautiful scenery in the country of ireland

Irish Currency

Euro (EUR)

The Capital of Ireland


Time Zone in Ireland


Important Facts About the Country of Ireland

Introduction to Ireland

Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland or Eire, is Europe’s most westerly country. The sovereign state shares a land border in the north with Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and together the two countries form the island of Ireland. Just under half of Ireland’s nearly 5 million people live in the Greater Dublin area.

What to Know about Ireland's Geography

Ireland is separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel to the east, the latter of which is just 37 kilometers at its narrowest point. To the north and west is the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The west coast of Ireland is known for its rugged beauty.

Climate in Ireland

Ireland has a temperate Oceanic climate which seldom brings extreme temperatures. The Atlantic Ocean brings the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. In winter, the west coast is prone to Atlantic storms. In general, the west experiences considerably more rainfall than the east.

The Culture of Ireland

Historically, Ireland’s culture is predominantly Gaelic with growing influence over time from Britain. Large scale emigration from Ireland has spread modern Irish culture, particularly its music and literature, across the globe. For example, the ubiquitous Irish Pub can be found in most global cities. Unfortunately, these often have little in common with the traditional hospitable public houses found in Ireland.

Religions Observed in Ireland

Christianity is by far the predominant religion of Ireland, with 69% of the population identifying as Roman Catholic. According to the latest census, only 14% identify as having no religion. As with many other European countries, regular church attendance is in decline.

Languages Spoken in Ireland

English is the most dominant and widely spoken language in Ireland. However, the constitution of Ireland describes Irish as the national language. In practice, Irish as a community language is limited to concentrations in the far western counties such as Donegal, Galway and Mayo.

Irish Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Ireland

Employment law in Ireland is governed principally by Common Law and the precedent set by any judicial decisions. Additionally, employment conditions and employee protection from a variety of statutory acts mostly deriving from EU directives. Collective agreements are another important consideration in employment law in Ireland.

Employment Contracts in Ireland

A contract of employment is governed by the principles of contract in Irish common law. Therefore, there must be an offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relations. Legally, contracts can be concluded orally. However, written employment contracts are the standard in Ireland and highly recommended.

Certain terms are implied within an employment contract, whether or not they are expressly included in writing. For example, there is an implied mutual obligation of trust and confidence that must exist between the employer and the employee. A statutory minimum period of notice will also be implied into the employment contract if there is no contractual notice (or if the contractual notice is less than the statutory minimum). Contractual terms may also be implied by customs and practices in Ireland.

Employers are obliged to provide employees with key terms and conditions of employment within five days of commencing employment. The terms and conditions that must be provided are:

  • In circumstances where there is no fixed or main place of work, a confirmation that the employee shall work from various places or is free to determine their own place(s) of work;
  • the title, grade, nature or category of the work, or a brief specification or description of the work;
  • the date of commencement of the employee’s contract of employment;
  • any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime);
  • the rate or method of calculating pay, and the ‘pay reference’ period (for example whether the employee is paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly); and
  • the duration and conditions of any applicable probationary period.

An employer must also give an employee a more comprehensive written statement of his or her terms of employment within one month of the commencement of employment. If an employer does not comply with this requirement, employees are entitled to up to four weeks’ compensation. The written statement of terms must contain the following:

  • The training entitlement, if any, provided by the employer;
  • The identity of the user undertaking, where the employee is under a temporary contract of employment and engaged in temporary agency work;
  • Where the work pattern of the employee is mostly or entirely unpredictable, the employee must be informed of the following;
    1. The principle that the work schedule is variable;
    2. The number of guaranteed paid hours;
    3. The remuneration for work performed in addition to those guaranteed hours;
    4. The “reference hours and days” (i.e. the time slots in specified days during which work can take place at the request of the employer) within which the employee may be required to work;
    5. The minimum notice to which the employee is entitled before the start of a work assignment and, where it applies, the 24-hour notice deadline imposed by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 before which an employer must inform an employee of when they will normally be required to start and finish work on each day of a given week.
  • The identity of the social security institutions receiving the social insurance contributions attached to the contract;
  • Any protection relating to social security provided by the employer;

Generally, for simplicity, both the required terms and conditions and the written statement will be included in the employment contract.

Ireland's Contract Terms

The law specifies that contracts of employment must contain certain terms and conditions which must be provided in written form. Under no circumstances should the terms of the employment contract provide for lesser conditions than any minimum legal entitlements established in Ireland’s employment legislation or by applicable collective agreement.

Ireland's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period

Probationary periods must not exceed 6 months. Any extension of such periods must not exceed 12 months and should be in the interest of the employee.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Ireland

  • The Organization of Working Time Act 1997 states the maximum average working week for many employees cannot exceed 48 hours. This does not mean a working week can never exceed 48 hours. Rather, it is the average that is important. For most employees the average can be calculated over a period of four months.
  • A typical working week is considered to be between 35 and 40 hours, with the average in Ireland being 39 hours per week.


Sunday Working (Sunday Premium Entitlement)

  • If not already included in the rate of pay, an employee usually has a right to paid time off in lieu or a premium payment for work performed on Sunday.
  • An employee is entitled to the premium payment for Sunday work, which should be equivalent to the payment a comparable employee in a collective agreement in force in a similar industry or sector would receive. This means the Sunday premium, if not already paid, will be equivalent to the closest applicable collective agreement which applies to the same or similar work under similar circumstances (and which provides for a Sunday premium).

Irish Laws Regarding Overtime

Overtime is work performed outside normal working hours. Employers have no statutory requirement to pay employees for work completed in overtime. However, many employers offer higher rates of compensation for overtime. The contract of employment should state whether employees can be required to work overtime and should specify the rates of pay.

Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Ireland

  • Bonuses can be guaranteed under contract, discretionary or a combination of the two. The details of any bonus scheme should be clearly specified in the terms of the employment contract. When bonus schemes are incorporated into the employees’ contract of employment, they become terms or conditions of that employment and employees will have certain expectations. Failure to comply with a term in a contract may be found to be an unlawful action. In this case, the law provides for recourse.
  • An employment contract may contain a clause stating that a contractual bonus will not be paid if employment is terminated ‘for cause.’ This includes alleged gross misconduct or if an employee is not engaged in employment on the date of payment. Most bonus schemes will state that the employers allow themselves the discretion to decide who would be eligible for a bonus, the amount payable and whether to pay any bonuses at all in a particular year. It is an implied term of any bonus scheme which is subject to an employer’s discretion must not be exercised in a manner that is irrational or perverse.
  • If an employer offers a contractual bonus scheme (e.g. one guaranteed under contract), any modifications to that scheme should be made through a formal process of consultation and agreement. If an employer offers a discretionary bonus scheme, it is more likely they can change the scheme without consulting employees. To label a scheme discretionary – and then ensure that it is discretionary in practice – informs employees that the provisions may not be provided in the same way, or at all, throughout their employment. If there was cause for amending the scheme, an employer may simply exercise this discretion and then inform employees of the change. However, changes to contractual schemes require prior agreement between employer and employee.

Ireland's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

Length of Employment Minimum Length of Notice
13 weeks to 2 years 1 week
2 years to 5 years 2 weeks
5 years to 10 years 4 weeks
10 year to 15 years 6 weeks
15 years or more 8 weeks

Employers are not required to give notice if any of the following apply:

  • The employee has been working for the employer for less than 13 weeks.
  • The employee agrees to waive his or her right to notice.
  • The employee is guilty of gross misconduct.


In order to justify a dismissal, the employer must:

  • show the dismissal was in relation to at least one of the potentially fair grounds set out in the legislation.
  • demonstrate that fair procedures were followed.
  • be able to disprove any allegation by the employee that the case involves any of the automatically unfair reasons for dismissal.

The employer can give one or more of the following reasons for dismissal:

  • Capability – This includes events such as tardiness, absenteeism and persistent absence due to illness or injury (either short-term or long-term)
  • Competence – This pertains to the employee’s ability to do their job. Initially, employees must be made aware of the standards that are expected and improvement should be managed through a formal set procedure within a reasonable timeframe. Ultimately, the employer should issue a final warning setting out the likelihood of dismissal before any actual dismissal.
  • Qualifications – This type of dismissal is allowed for two reasons:
    • The employee misled the employer about qualifications they had when applying for the job.
    • The employer made employee’s continued employment conditional on them obtaining further qualifications and the employee failed to achieve this after having been given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
  • Conduct – As a ground for fair dismissal, the term conduct covers a large area of behavior. There is a need to distinguish between gross misconduct, which can lead to instant dismissal, and ordinary instances of misconduct.
  • Redundancy – In this case, the employer will need to show a redundancy situation exists and that therefore the dismissal is fair.
  • Contravening the law – Employees can be dismissed if their continued employment would mean breaking the law.

Post-Termination Restraints

Contractual post termination restraints are generally considered to be in restraint of trade and therefore void. However, those that protect the employer’s legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable. Restraints need to be tailored for the specific business and the risks posed by the employee. Garden leave is a common practice applied to senior employees.

Non-competes – This is permissible in narrow, justifiable circumstances. The typical duration is no longer than three to six months, with an absolute maximum of 12 months depending on the circumstances. The geographical area must also be reasonable and not too extensive.

Customer non-solicits – These are permissible in specific circumstances. The typical duration is no longer than three to six months, with an absolute maximum of 12 months depending on the circumstances. The geographical area must also be reasonable and not too extensive.

Employee non-solicits – These are permissible but the length of restriction will depend on the circumstances.

Severance Pay in Ireland

  • An employee who is being made redundant is entitled to a statutory payment, conditional on them having at least 104 weeks of continuous service in employment insurable under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 1993. They must also be over the age of 16 and in a genuine redundancy situation.
  • The rate of statutory redundancy is two weeks’ pay for every year of service (for those over the age of 16) in addition to one week’s pay. This payment is limited to €600 per week. Statutory redundancy payments are exempt from tax. Any ex-gratia redundancy amount (above the legal minimum) is subject to taxation.
  • If the employer company is liquidated and unable to pay the redundancy entitlements, redundant employees can seek payment from the Social Insurance Fund (maintained by the Department of Social Protection) for their statutory entitlements.
  • Employees may benefit from enhanced redundancy sums by way of business customs, practices or industry norms. In practice, employers can negotiate an ex-gratia severance payment from between two to seven weeks’ pay per year of service. This may or may not be paid in addition to the statutory payment.
  • Trade unions are involved in redundancy negotiations at companies with collective bargaining. There is no legal requirement to negotiate with trade unions in respect of redundancy pay. However, the practice at unionized firms is that trade unions are involved during any such talks. Theoretically works councils can perform this function as well but they are not as prevalent a feature in this process as trade unions.

Statutory Costs

A fixed-term contract can be any of the following:

  • for a fixed period and will end when a specific date is reached
  • for the purposes of completing a specific task and will end once the task has been completed.
  • for a specific event and will terminate once the event does or does not happen.

Fixed-term employees have the right not to be treated any less favorably than comparable employees on permanent contracts. Those who have been employed on successive fixed-term contracts (e.g. they have had the contract renewed previously or have been employed on more than one contract) for four continuous years can ask their employer for a statement confirming they are permanent and are no longer on a fixed-term contract.

Employers must issue this statement or one that gives objective reasons why the contract remains fixed-term within 21 days of an employee’s request. They can keep an employee on a fixed-term contract only if they can objectively justify it at the point it was last renewed to achieve a legitimate business aim or when the period of four years has been extended under either a collective or workplace agreement. The employer must make the same tax arrangements for fixed-term employees as for permanent staff.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Ireland

Personal Income Tax in Ireland

The tax year in Ireland runs from January 1 to December 31. Income tax that an employee generates from employment is deducted from their wages by their employer on behalf of the Irish government. This is called Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Employers must withhold tax from employees’ paychecks each pay period and report those deductions to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

Tax is charged as a percentage of a person’s income and the amount of tax that the employee contributes depends on the level of the income that they earn as well as their personal circumstances.

Income tax is charged at a progressive rate, from 20% to 40%. The first part of an employee’s income, up to a certain amount, is taxed at 20%. This is called the standard rate of tax and the amount that it applies to is referred to as the standard rate tax band. The remainder of an employee’s income is to be taxed at the higher 40% tax rate.

The Universal Social Charge (USC) is a tax on income, and is paid where gross income exceeds €13,000 per year. Once income exceeds this amount, the relevant rate of USC is paid on all of their income. It is calculated on a weekly or monthly basis. It does not apply to the following payments:

  • Social welfare payments
  • All Department of Social Protection payments (maternity benefit, paternity benefit and state pension)
  • Community Employment Scheme payments
  • Back to Education allowance
  • Student grants and scholarships
  • Income where Deposit Interest Retention Tax has already been paid
  • Cycle to Work scheme payments
  • TaxSaver Commuter Ticket Scheme payments
  • Statutory Redundancy Payments
  • Foster care payments
  • Child benefit payments
  • Rent a Room relief

New Starts in Ireland

New employees will need to acquire a Personal Public Service (PPS) number in order to receive Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN). If a PPS number is required, it can be obtained from the local PPS Registration Center after supplying the supporting documentation. The list of required supporting documentation is available on the Department of Social Protection website (

Until a tax credit is received, the new employee will be on emergency tax. If the new employee has no PPS number, they will be taxed 40% on all earnings.

At 20% first At 40%
Single person EUR 42,000 Balance
Married couple/ civil partnership (one income) EUR 51,000 Balance
Married couple/ civil partnership (two incomes) up to EUR 84,000 Balance
One parent/ widowed parent/ surviving civil partner EUR 46,000 Balance

Social Security in Ireland

Most employers and employees (over 16 years of age) pay social insurance contributions into the National Social Insurance Fund. In general, the payment of social insurance is compulsory.

For people in employment in Ireland, social insurance contributions are divided into different categories, known as ‘classes’ or ‘rates of contribution’. The type of class and rate of contribution an employee pays is determined by the nature of their work. It was announced in Budget 2024 that all PRSI contribution rates will increase by 0.1% from 1 October 2024.

The payroll process must also account for social security contributions from both employer and employee – collectively known in Ireland as Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). PRSI payments cover a range of social welfare benefits and are determined by income level. The Universal Social Charge (USC), implemented in 2011, represents a further payroll consideration and is charged at a progressive rate of 2-8% on employee income.

The majority of employees in Ireland pay Class A PRSI. This class of contribution can entitle them to the full range of social insurance payments that are available from the Department of Social and Family Affairs, if they meet the qualifying criteria. If the employer pays the employee when they are sick, they will continue paying PRSI.

Employee PRSI – Class A

Employees that earn €352 or less per week (before tax deductions), do not pay any social insurance, however they are still covered by class A social insurance, the employers are paying on the employees’ behalf.

Employees that earn over €352 per week, pay 4% PRSI on all earnings. If an employee earns between €352.01 and €424 per week, the maximum credit of €12 is reduced by one-sixth of the amount of their weekly earnings over €352.01.

Employer PRSI

Employers pay 8.8% class A employer PRSI on weekly earnings up to €441. The employer will pay 11.05% class A employer PRSI on weekly earnings over €441

Monthly contributions must be made to the authorities for social security by the 14th of the following month that contributions were generated on.

Universal Social Charge

The Universal Social Charge (USC) is a levy payable on gross income, including notional pay, before any relief for any capital allowances, losses or pension contributions. The USC is essentially another form of income tax and is usually regarded as an admissible tax for the purposes of Ireland’s Double Taxation Agreements.

All individuals are liable to pay the Universal Social Charge if their gross income exceeds the threshold of EUR 13,000. You do not pay the USC if your total income for a year is €13,000 or less. (If your income is €60,000 or less, there is a reduced rate if you are aged 70 or over or a medical card holder.)

PRSI contribution, Universal Social Charge

Percentage Income
Employer PRSI 11.05% Weekly earnings over €441
Employer PRSI 8.80% If income is EUR441 p/w or less
Employee (2) (class A1)
PRSI 4.0% No limit (1)
Universal Social Charge 0.5% EUR 0 to EUR 12,012 (2)
Universal Social Charge 2.0% Next EUR 13,748
Universal Social Charge 4.0% Next EUR 44,284 (3)
Universal Social Charge 8.0% Balance (4)

*The above table serves as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by GoGlobal will differ.

  1. Employees earning EUR 352 or less per week are exempt from PRSI. In any week in which an employee is subject to full-rate PRSI, all earnings are subject to PRSI.
  2. Individuals with income up to EUR 13,000 are not subject to the Universal Social Charge.
  3. The reduced rate (2%) applies for persons over 70 or with a full medical card, where the individual’s income does not exceed EUR 60,000.
  4. There is a surcharge of 3% on individuals who have non-PAYE income that exceeds EUR100,000 in a year regardless of age.

Important Information for Irish Employees

Salary Payment

Salaries are normally paid monthly on a regular date at the end of the month via credit transfer to an account specified by the employee.


All employees are entitled by law to a written statement of salary showing wages and deductions at the time of payment. This statement is called a ‘payslip.’ Employers also are prohibited from making deductions from wages unless authorized by law, an employment contract or employee consent. The Payment of Wages Act obliges the employer to treat the information contained in a pay statement with confidentiality. If wages are paid by credit transfer, the statement of wages should be given to the employee as soon as possible once the credit transfer has taken place.

Timesheets & Record Keeping

  • In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated companies must set up a system to record the working time of their employees. Hence, employers are required to implement an objective, reliable and accessible system that allows for the recording of the daily workday performed by each employee

Annual Leave

  • Employees are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave in addition to the nine paid public holidays. Annual leave is subject to the employer’s approval. With the agreement of both employer and employee unused leave may be carried over into the following holiday year and should be used within six months.

Public Holiday

If a public holiday falls on a day which is not a normal working day for that business (for example, on Saturday or Sunday), employees are still entitled to benefit for that public holiday. However, they do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work. Where this happens, employees are entitled to either:

  • a paid day off on the public holiday
  • an additional day of annual leave
  • an additional day’s pay
  • a paid day off within a month of the public holiday

Sick Leave

Under the Sick Leave Act 2022, employees are entitled to statutory paid sick leaves every year. The entitlement is phased in over 4 years:

  • 2024 – 5 days
  • 2025 – 7 days
  • 2026 – 10 days

Sick days can be taken as consecutive days or non-consecutive days.

Sick pay is paid by employers at 70% of the employee’s normal pay up to a maximum of €110 a day. To be eligible for sick pay, the employee must work for the employer for at least 13 weeks and is certified by a GP as unable to work.

Employees can get sick pay if they are:

  • on probation
  • undergoing training (interns)
  • an apprentice
  • an agency worker

Both full-time and part-time employees can take 5 days of paid sick leave.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

  • Employees who become pregnant are entitled to take maternity leave. The entitlement to a basic period of maternity leave from employment extends to all female employees in Ireland (including casual workers), regardless of how long they have been working for the organization or the number of hours worked per week. In general, employees are entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave. At least 2 weeks have to be taken before the end of the week of your baby’s expected birth and at least four weeks after.
  • Employers should carry out separate risk assessments when an employee is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding. They should either remove any risks or move the employee away from them. If these options are not possible, the employee may need to take health and safety leave from work. During health and safety leave, employees receive their normal wages for the first 3 weeks. After this, they may receive Health and Safety Benefit from the DSP, depending on their PRSI contributions.
  • Employees with sufficient social insurance (PRSI) contributions are entitled to paid Maternity Benefits at €274 per week. Mothers are entitled to a further 16 weeks of additional maternity leave which begins immediately after the end of maternity leave; however, this is not covered by Maternity Benefit.
  • Female employees who are breastfeeding are entitled to take 1 hour off work (with pay) each day as a breastfeeding break for up to 2 years after birth.

Paternity Leave

  • New parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to 2 weeks of paternity leave from employment following birth or adoption of a child. Paternity leave can be started at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement. Paternity Benefit is paid at a rate of €274 per week.

Parent's Leave & Parental Leave

Parent’s Leave

Each working parent is entitled to seven weeks of paid leave in the first 2 years of a child’s life (within 2 years of adoption). This benefit is paid for by the state if the parent has sufficient social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Parental Leave

Parental leave allows parents with children below 12 years old to take unpaid leave from work. Each parent can take up to 26 weeks’ parental leave for each eligible child. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least a year before they are entitled to this leave.

Leave for medical care reasons

  • Employees can take unpaid leave if they need to take time off to deal with medical care for their child or other relevant persons.
  • Other relevant persons include a spouse, cohabitant, parent, grandparent, sibling or housemate.
  • The person must need significant care or support for a serious medical reason.
  • Employees can take up to 5 days’ leave for medical care in any 12 consecutive months. Leave can be taken as single or multiple days. If half a day is taken, it will count as a full day.
  • Employees do not need any minimum service with their employer to take this leave.

Carer's Leave

  • Carer’s leave allows employees to leave work temporarily to provide full-time care and attention for someone who needs it.
  • Carer’s leave from employment is unpaid but the employee’s job will be kept open for when they return.
  • Carer’s leave can be taken for a minimum of 13 weeks and up to a maximum of 104 weeks. If an employee requests to take less than 13 weeks’ carer’s leave, the employer can refuse the request.
  • If 2 people live together and both need full-time care and attention, employees can get carer’s leave for each of them. In this case, the total maximum amount of carer’s leave is 208 weeks (104 for each person in their care).
  • When your carer’s leave has finished, you must wait 6 months before you can take another period of carer’s leave to care for a different person.
  • To be eligible for carer’s leave, employees must have worked for their employer for 12 months without a break in employment. The person that they will be caring for must need full-time care and attention. A deciding officer of the DSP will decide whether they need this care after checking with their GP.
  • Employees can apply to take carer’s leave in one continuous period of up to 104 weeks, or for a number of shorter periods that add up to a maximum of 104 weeks. If carer’s leave in one continuous period, there must be a gap of at least 6 weeks between each period of carer’s leave. The minimum period of carer’s leave that can be taken is 13 weeks. If employees apply for a period of less than 13 weeks, their employer can refuse (if they have good reason) but must explain why in writing.
  • Employees should first apply to take carer’s leave to the DSP. If the DSP approve the application, employees should notify their employer by giving at least 6 weeks’ notice in writing of their intention to take carer’s leave. If the leave is approved, both the employee and employer must sign a document confirming the arrangement at least two weeks before the leave is due to start.

Compassionate & Bereavement Leave

1. Force majeure leave -If an employee has a family crisis, they have a right to limited paid time off work. This is called Force Majeure leave. This type of leave may need to be taken for an urgent family reason, such as the unexpected injury or illness of a ‘close family member’. A ‘close family member’ includes:

  • the employee’s child
  • the employee’s spouse or partner
  • the employee’s parent or grandparent
  • the employee’s sibling
  • someone who the employee has a duty of care towards
  • someone who depends on the employee for care
  • other people as defined by law

Employees can take force majeure leave of one or more days up to a maximum of 3 days in 12 consecutive months, or a total of 5 days in 36 consecutive months (3 years). The employee is entitled to be paid while on force majeure leave. The employer may grant further leave at their discretion. Employees are protected against unfair dismissal for taking force majeure leave or proposing to take it.

Force majeure leave does not give any entitlement to leave following the death of a close family member.

2. Compassionate leave – If a close family member dies you have no entitlement to force majeure leave. However, you may be able to take compassionate leave. This will depend on your employment contract, the custom and practice within your workplace or it will depend on your employer’s discretion. You should check with your employer.

3. Leave for medical care purposes – All employees will be entitled to 5 days of unpaid leave in any 12 consecutive months if they need to deal with serious medical care fo support to:

  • a child
  • a spouse or civil partner
  • a cohabitant
  • a parent or grandparent
  • a brother or sister
  • a housemate (any other person to those listed above who lives in the same house)

Employees don’t need any minimum service with their employer and they don’t have to give them notice to take the leave in emergency circumstances.

Benefits to the Employee in Ireland

Irish Statutory Benefits

The social welfare system in Ireland is divided into three main types of payments. These are:

  • Social insurance payments
  • Means-tested payments
  • Universal payments

Social insurance payments are based on social insurance contributions and include jobseeker’s benefit, illness benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity pension, carer’s benefit and contributory state pension.

Means-tested payments are designed for people who do not have enough PRSI contributions to qualify for the equivalent social insurance-based payments. An example is a person who becomes unemployed, applies for the jobseeker’s benefit but fails to qualify because he or she does not have enough social insurance contributions. He or she can apply for the jobseeker’s allowance instead, which is the means-tested equivalent payment.

Universal payments are disbursed regardless of a person’s income or social insurance record. They depend on the claimant satisfying specific personal conditions. An example is the child benefit.

Public Health Care Service

Ireland has a universal, government-funded public healthcare system managed by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Any person living in Ireland for at least one year is considered by the HSE to be ‘ordinarily resident’ and is entitled to care. A medical card enables people who are receiving welfare payments, low earners, most retirees and certain others to entirely free care. People who are not entitled to a medical card (e.g. about 70% of the population) must pay fees for certain health care services. For example there is a €100 A&E charge for those who attend an accident and emergency department without a referral letter.

Other Benefits

Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) – It is not a legal requirement for an employer to provide a private pension plan. However, it is a legal requirement to provide a PRSA facility for employees. There is no requirement for the employer to contribute into this but rather setting up the facility for the employee. This way, the employee can pay into it from their gross salary.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Ireland

General Information

If an individual is from an EU member state, one of the countries of the EEA, Switzerland or the UK, they are entitled to work in Ireland. They do not need an employment permit. Moreover, their dependents can come live with them in Ireland. If they are an EEA, Swiss or British national, they are entitled to be treated in the same way as Irish citizens when they apply for work in Ireland. They are free to apply for any job vacancy, including jobs in the public sector. If they are from another country, then generally they will  need an employment permit.

The nine types of employment permits are as follows:

  • General Employment Permits (formerly work permits) – These are available for occupations with an annual remuneration of €30,000 or more. This permit will only be considered in exceptional cases for a job with a lower annual remuneration. Normally, a labor market needs test is required.
  • Critical Skills Employment Permits (formerly Green Card permits) – These are available for most occupations with annual remuneration of over €64,000. They are also available for occupations with annual remuneration of at least €38,000 on the Critical Skills Occupations List (formerly Highly Skilled Occupations List). There is no requirement for a labor market needs test.
  • Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits – This applies to a dependent (other than a spouse or de facto partner) of a Critical Skills Employment Permits holder, or a researcher on a Hosting Agreement.
  • Reactivation Employment Permits – This allows foreign nationals, who entered Ireland on a valid employment permit but fell out of the system through no fault of their own or have been poorly treated or exploited in the workplace, to work again.
  • Contract for Services Employment Permits – These are intended for foreign nationals providing services to an Irish entity (with a contract). These permits allow the transfer of non-EEA employees to work on the Irish contract in Ireland while remaining on an employment contract outside the State. Generally, a labor market needs test is required.
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits – allow senior management, key personnel and trainees working in an overseas branch of a multi-national company to transfer to the Irish branch. They must be earning at least €46,000 a year (trainees must be earning at least €34,000 a year) and have been working for the company for a minimum of 6 months (one month if a trainee).
  • Internship Employment Permits –  These are available to non-EEA national full-time students who are enrolled in a third-level institution outside Ireland and have a work experience job offer in the country.
  • Sport and Cultural Employment Permits – These are available for employment in Ireland for the development, operation and capacity of sporting and cultural activities.
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permits – These apply to those employed in Ireland under prescribed agreements. The Fulbright Program for researchers and academics is an example of such an agreement.

Public Holidays Recognized by Ireland in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 St. Brigid’s Day February 5
3 Saint Patrick’s Day March 17
4 Easter Monday April 1
5 May Day May 6
6 June Bank Holiday June 3
7 August Bank Holiday August 5
8 October Bank Holiday October 28
9 Christmas Day December 25
10 Saint Stephen’s Day December 26

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