Engage In Ireland

Table of Contents

About Ireland

Capital City

Dublin

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Ireland is 5 million.

Currency

The currency in Ireland is the Euro (EUR). The currency symbol is €.

Exchange Rate Calculator

USD

Overview

Ireland, known as the Emerald Isle, is a captivating island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. With its enchanting landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, Ireland offers a uniquely immersive experience. The country is divided into two parts: the Republic of Ireland, comprising most of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is famous for its lush green countryside, rugged coastlines, and picturesque villages. Visitors can explore ancient castles, historic ruins, and stunning natural landmarks such as the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway. Additionally, Ireland is renowned for its vibrant music, literature, and folklore traditions, which have left an indelible mark on the world. Traditional Irish music sessions, lively festivals, and storytelling sessions are just a few ways to immerse oneself in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Furthermore, Ireland’s warm and welcoming atmosphere is complemented by its friendly locals, who are known for their hospitality and good-natured charm. With its captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural treasures, and the legendary Irish spirit, Ireland offers a truly unforgettable experience for visitors from around the globe.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

Contracts made for indefinite duration are considered permanent. Contracts that are not made for fixed term are indefinite term contracts. Such contracts continue until the employer or employee ends it. Employees are entitled to annual leave, maternity leave, remuneration, and protection from unfair dismissal. The Terms of Employment (Information) Act states that an employer must issue a written statement of terms and conditions within two months of the employment start date. 

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Ireland, a fixed-term employee is hired: Under a contract that contains a specific start and end date, or To carry out a specific task or project, or Under a contract, the continuation of which depends on an event, such as funding from an external source. Employees cannot be employed on a series of fixed-term contracts indefinitely. If an employer intends to renew a fixed-term contract, a written statement must be given to the fixed-term employee by the date of renewal. Fixed term contracts can be renewed twice for a maximum total duration of 4 years.  Fixed term employees have the same rights as permanent employees, including right to full maternity leave. They cannot be treated less favorably than comparable permanent employees unless the employer can objectively justify the different treatment. 

Temporary Employment Contratcs

The law in Ireland defines an "agency worker" as "an individual employed by an employment agency under a contract of employment by which the individual may be assigned to work for, and under the direction and supervision of, a person other than the employment agency." The Terms of Employment Act states that all temporary agency workers must have equal treatment with workers hired directly regarding their working time, pay rate, night work, rest breaks, overtime pay, annual leave and public holidays. Employers can conclude "zero-hour" contracts for casual work, work done in emergency situations and short-term relief to cover routine absences. Such contracts apply where the employee is available for work but their hours of work are not specified under the employment contract. A zero-hours contract requires employees to be available for a certain number of hours per week, or when required, or both. 

Probationary Period

In Ireland, an employment contract may include a probationary period of up to 6 months. Employment agreements that include a probationary period must be in writing. Employees can be dismissed without notice for poor performance during their probation. A probationary employee is entitled to the same rights as a non-probationary employee with regard to holidays and payslips.

Working Hours

The maximum average number of hours an employee can work per week is 48. The workweek average is typically determined over a 4-month period. Exceptions exist for seasonal workers, work that involves predictable surge activity, and employees under collective agreements. Further, employees are entitled to a rest period of up to 11 consecutive hours for every 24 hours of work. For night workers generally, the maximum night working time is 48 hours per week averaged over a 2 month period or a longer period specified in a collective agreement which must be approved by the Labour Court. All employees have the "Right to Disconnect" from work. The Right to Disconnect gives employees the right to switch off from work outside of normal working hours, including the right to not respond immediately to emails, telephone calls, or other messages 

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • St. Patrick's Day - March 17
  • Easter Monday - date subject to change annually
  • The first Monday in May
  • The first Monday in June
  • The first Monday in August
  • The last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • St. Stephen's Day - December 26

Paid Annual Leave

In Ireland, all employees, whether full-time, part-time, temporary, or casual, earn annual leave entitlements from the time they start work. Most employees are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave per year, although they may be entitled to less depending on time worked.  The employer determines the timing of an employee’s annual leave, considering work and personnel requirements, and should consult the employee or the relevant union in advance. Pay for the leave must be issued in advance and calculated at the employee’s regular weekly rate. Employees can accrue statutory annual leave when they are on long-term certified sick leave. An annual leave carryover period of 15 months after a leave year applies to employees who could not take annual leave during the relevant leave year or the normal carryover period of 6 months due to sickness. 

Sick Leave

Ireland enacted the Sick Leave Act in July 2022. From January 1, 2024, employees will have a right to paid sick leave for up to 5 days in 2024, 7 days in 2025, and 10 days in 2026. They will also be entitled to a rate of payment for statutory sick leave of 70% of normal wages to be paid by employers (up to a maximum EUR 110 per day). To be entitled to paid sick leave under the new scheme, employees must be working for their employer for at least 13 weeks. They will also need to be certified by a GP as unfit to work. Employers are required to include their sick pay policy in employment contracts.  If employees cannot work because they are sick or injured, and they have enough social insurance contributions, they can apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for weekly illness benefit. 

Maternity Leave

In Ireland, employees are entitled to maternity benefits. Maternity benefits payments are paid by the government for 26 weeks (156 days). At least 2 weeks and not more than 16 weeks of leave must be taken before the end of the week in which the baby is due. Employees have the right to an additional 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave immediately after the end of the 26 weeks’ paid leave. Maternity leave applies to birth or adoptive parents and must start within 26 weeks of birth or placement. The Irish Maternity Benefit is EUR 250 (Euros) per week. In January 2023, the weekly rate of Maternity Benefit will increase by EUR 12 with proportional increases for people on reduced rates of payment. Employers are not statutorily obligated to pay women who are on maternity leave. However, some employers may top up the amount employees get from Maternity Benefit to match the employee’s normal pay. Employees must have at least 39 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the 12-month period before the first day of their maternity leave to be eligible for benefit. If employees have dependents, their maternity benefit is compared to the rate of illness benefit that they would have received for absence due to illness and they are paid the lower amount.

Paternity Leave

Relevant parents are provided with 2 weeks of paid paternity leave. The benefit is currently EUR 250 per week, paid by the Department of Social Protection. In January 2023, the weekly rate of Paternity Benefit will increase by EUR 12. The leave applies to birth or adoptive parents and must start within 6 months of birth or placement. Employees must apply to their employer in writing at least 4 weeks before taking paternity leave. Self-employed persons must apply 12 weeks before. Employees must have 39 weeks' contributions to be eligible for benefits. The leave is available to all fathers, including self-employed, same-sex couples, and adoptive parents.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

In Ireland, persons who have been continually employed for at least 13 weeks must provide their employer with a notice of one week to terminate employment. Employment contracts may specify a longer notice period. Employers must give continuously serving employees a notice that depends on the duration of their service, between one and eight weeks. If the employee is not required to work for any part of their notice, the employer must pay them for that period. If either party terminates an employment contract due to misconduct, no notice is required. Employees and employers can also agree to waive their right to notice. 

Severance Benefits

Employees aged 16 or over with 104 weeks (2 years) of continuous service at a job are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment, a lump-sum amount based on the employee's salary. All eligible employees are entitled to: If over age 16, 2 weeks' pay for every year of service, and 1 additional week's pay, also known as a bonus week The payment amount is subject to a maximum earnings limit of EUR 600 per week. 

Social Security

Pension

In Ireland, there is no single fixed retirement age. A person’s retirement age is designated in their contract of employment. Some contracts of employment have a mandatory retirement age, but they also provide for earlier retirement generally and/or on grounds of illness. The usual retirement age in contracts of employment is 65. Many provide for early retirement starting at age 60, or in some cases starting at age 55. There are two types of pensions: contributory and non-contributory. The State Pension (Contributory; SPC) is a social insurance-based payment presently payable to people starting at age 66 and the mandatory retirement age is 70. It is a basic flat-rate benefit to retirees who meet the contribution conditions and is not a means-tested benefit. The amount of benefits depends on the number of contributions, number of dependents, age of the employee when accessing their retirement savings. Individuals who do not qualify for a contributory State pension, with income below a certain level, may be entitled to a non-contributory State pension (SPNC). It is a means-tested benefit for individuals who have not contributed at all or have not contributed a sufficient amount. The rate of payment depends on the outcome of the means test.   Ireland's Department of Social Protection will begin implementing an automatic enrollment retirement savings system. The pension program will be implemented by 2023 and operational by 2024. Employees aged 23 through 60 who earn a minimum of EURO 20,000 and are not participating in a pension plan will be auto-enrolled.   Employees and employers will each contribute 1.5% to fund the individual accounts, and employers are limited to contribute to the first EUR 80,000. Contribution rates will increase by 1.5 every three years until it reaches 6% by 2034, and the government will match 33% of an employee's contribution on annual earnings up to EUR 80,000. 

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Invalidity Benefit

In Ireland, the State provides benefits for insured persons who have been injured or incapacitated by an accident, whether in the workplace or while traveling directly to or from work. The Occupational Injuries Scheme also covers employees who have contracted a work-related disease. The following benefits are available under this scheme: Injury Benefit Disablement Benefit Incapacity Supplement Constant Attendance Allowance Medical Care Scheme Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people above 16 years of age with a disability. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The amount of tax that an individual pays varies based on income and civil status. Residents are taxed on their income from sources within or outside of Ireland, while non-residents are taxed on their domestic income. The tax assessment year for income runs from April 6 through April 5 of the following year. The first part of a person’s income, up to a certain amount based on the person’s civil status (single, widowed, married, civil partner, parent, etc.), is taxed at 20%. It is known as the standard rate of tax. The amount that it applies to is known as the standard rate tax band. The remainder of that person’s income is taxed at 40%.

Immigration

Types of Visas

In Ireland, visas are grouped into four broad categories: Short-stay “C” visas (up to 90 days) Long-stay “D” visas (over 90 days) Re-entry visas (issued to those who already hold single-entry visa but wish to leave Ireland for a short period of time) Transit visa (for those traveling through Ireland on their way to another country) Multiple and single-entry visas are also issued. 

Work Permit

Foreign nationals who wish to work in Ireland must follow all visa requirements. The exception is made for individuals who hold a certain status in Ireland (for example, refugees) and for citizens of the EEA (European Economic Area) member states, European Union (EU) member states, and Switzerland (as well as their spouses, civil partners, and dependents regardless of their nationality). Under the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act of 2014, there are eight types of employment permits: General Employment Permit Critical Skills Employment Permit Reactivation Employment Permit Contract for Services Employment Permit Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit Internship Employment Permit Sport and Cultural Employment Permit Exchange Agreement Employment Permit For short term employment lasting less than 3 months, employees must apply for Atypical Working Scheme.

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