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Ireland (8 August 2022) – Government announces new law which will modernise the Employment Permits system in Ireland


What is the change?

The Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD has announced that the Government will publish a new law which will help to modernise the Employment Permit system in Ireland. This will result in a more flexible system for Ireland’s evolving labour market. It will allow Ireland to be more competitive in the Global Labour Market and to fill labour market gaps. Some of the changes this will bring are:

  •  A Seasonal Employment Permit will be introduced which will allow for a short-term employment permit to cater for short-stay and recurrent employment situations in sectors where this type of employment occurs.
  • Salary thresholds will be index-linked to ensure they at least keep in line with wage growth in Ireland.
  • Extensive revision of the labour market needs test to make it more relevant and efficient.
  • Moving of operational criteria to Regulations, and the streamlining of a number of requirements to make the grant process more efficient.
  • Providing for additional conditions for grant of an employment permit, such as training or accommodation support for migrant workers in some circumstances, or making innovation or upskilling a condition of grant, where this may decrease future reliance on economic migration.

Other Key points:

  • Implementation time frame: Bill to be published in Autumn 2022
  • Who is affected: All employing entities in Ireland

Analysis & Comments:

Deloitte welcomes this change as it will allow more flexibility with the Employment Permit eligibility. The changes should allow for a more modern and agile Employment Permits system without compromising the Irish and EEA labour market pool.

As new legislation concerning Employment Permits will now go through a different regulatory body (Regulations) this should allow for quicker responses to challenges in the Employment Permit and recruitment process.

Employers will be able to recruit individuals who may need additional upskilling and training. More opportunities should be available to employers who require seasonal workers. Making the Employment Permit granting system more efficient may also resulting in quicker processing times.

It is very positive to see the government continually renewing and improving the Employment Permit system in Ireland.

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