Working in Ireland

There are generally 3 types of work in Ireland: full time, part time and contract work. An average full time week is 39 hours and the maximum working hours must average no more than 48 hours per week.

If you are working for a regular wage or salary, you automatically have a contract of employment with your employer. You must receive your terms of employment in writing within 2 months of beginning employment. Terms in your employment contract should include:

  • Employer’s Details
  • Job Descriptions
  • Rate of Pay
  • Notice periods
  • Terms related to sick leave, paid leave and pension contributions
  • Terms related to laws passed by the government (e.g. maternity leave) 
  • References to Collective Agreements

Maternity Leave is available to new mothers in Ireland. You are entitled to 26 weeks paid maternity leave and 16 weeks unpaid leave. Fathers can take paternity leave in a 2 week block within 26 weeks following the baby’s birth.

Do I have the right to work?

If you have been granted international protection, you are entitled to the same working rights as Irish citizens. This means that have free access to the labour market and do not need a work permit. You are also free to start your own business within the State. If you are unemployed, you are also entitled to the services and benefits provided by the government.

What employment services are available to me?

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) are responsible for providing support and advice to all jobseekers in Ireland. Its INTREO service, launched in 2012, is the central contact for all issues related to employment and income supports. Services include:

  • General employment advice
  • Individual needs assessment
  • Information on all DEASP supports
  • Expert advice on employment and training

The Jobs Ireland website lists jobs available in Ireland. You can search by location, type of work and sector. The website can be found here.

Earnings and Tax

As of March 2019, the minimum wage is Ireland is €9.80 per hour. This rate is lower if you are aged 19 or younger.

When you begin to work, you will have to pay tax. The Revenue collects tax on behalf of the government. The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system is used by employers to deduct tax directly from your wages and pay it to the Revenue. There are two other charges deducted from you earnings: Pay Related Social Income (PRSI) and Universal Social Charge.

Working for Yourself

If you decide to work for yourself, there are a number of supports and regulations to be aware of. Unemployed people who decide to set up a business may be entitled to the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. This allows people to begin self-employment and keep some of their social welfare payment. More information about this can be found at your nearest social welfare office.