Understanding Employment Norms in Ireland: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Ireland? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in Ireland.

Employment Norms in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is an economically strong country. It has a high per capita, strong GDP number, and scored high on the standard of living indexes. This is the reason it attracts a lot of global workforces.

General Information:

  • The Irish currency is Euro.
  • Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
  • English and Irish are the official languages of Ireland. Documentation can be in any of the two languages as long as both parties mutually understand it.
  • As of 2022, the GDP of Ireland was reported to be USD 519 Billion (nominal) and USD 666 Billion (PPP).
The labor laws of Ireland are highly regulated. It is based on the Irish constitution, the European Union's Directives, and individual employment contracts. It protects the workers from unfair workplace practices and regulated workplace benefits.
Ireland map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working hours and overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


  • It is a statutory requirement to establish a written statement of terms of employment.
  • Both parties should finalize and sign it within the first five days of starting a new job.
  • It is a preliminary agreement including the only core terms of employment, such as:
    • Full name of the parties
    • Address of the parties
    • Place of work
    • Date of Employment
    • Job title and nature of the job
    • Working hours and overtime
    • Payroll period
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

  • The onboarding process usually takes two days, and if non-Irish nationals are involved, then it might take extra three days.
  • Within one month of joining the organization, the employer/organization is bound to present a detailed agreement containing basic terms of employment (as mentioned before) and other important classes:
    • Pay intervals- weekly or monthly
    • Paid leaves, public holidays, and sick leaves
    • Pension schemes applicable
    • Notice period
    • On job training
    • Details of any third party's involvement
    • Nature and Pattern of work
    • Social security contribution


  • The European Economic Area (EEA) residents can live and work in Ireland without an employment permit. They only require an employment contract.
  • Citizens outside EEA need a permit to live and work in Ireland. They also need a Green card (which needs to be renewed every two years).

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

The revised (Since 1 January 2023) minimum wage in Ireland is 11.30 Euro per hour.
The minimum wage includes the following:
  • basic wage
  • any extra shift
  • bonuses
  • service charge
If the employer provides food and accommodation, it will also be included in the minimum wage.
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

  • There is no mandated payroll cycle in Ireland.
  • The employment agreement between the parties determines the payroll cycle.
  • The market practice is usually a weekly or monthly cycle.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

  • There is no statutory requirement or market practice for providing bonuses.
  • It is usually mentioned in the employment agreement beforehand.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

  • In Ireland, health benefits are available for both ordinary residents and certain working visitors.
  • The health benefits are either available free of cost or at a reduced price.
  • A medical card is available for the workers, which includes:
    • General Physician services
    • Drugs and medicine
    • Dental and optical facility
    • maternity and infant care
    • community care
    • personal nursing facility.
  • The medical card may provide free services or services at a reduced cost.
Working hours and overtime

Working hours and overtime

  • Work hours: the average working hours in Ireland are 48 hours per week. It does not include leaves (paid or unpaid).
  • Break: there is no statutory requirement regarding breaks, but a healthy workplace habit is around 45 minutes to 1 hour per day.
  • Overtime: Overtime in Ireland is defined as any work done outside the regular work hour.


Sick leaves

  • There are short and long-term illness benefits available in Ireland, where the first three days are unpaid, which is considered a qualifying period.
  • Under Statutory Sick Leave (SSL), benefits are paid around 208 Euros per week.
  • SSL also grants five days of paid leaves (per 2023 revisions).
  • The Department of Social Protection pays paid sick leaves. The payment is dependent upon the contribution made by the employer and the employee.

Parental leaves

  • In Ireland, new mothers can avail of 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. Of which they can avail two weeks before the due date and four weeks after childbirth. Mothers are also entitled to 16 days of additional unpaid leaves.
  • Paternal or Partner leaves are also available to the other parent (other than the mother). It is granted when the child is six months old and lasts two weeks.
  • Parents in Ireland can also have unpaid parental leave of up to 22 weeks to take care of children up to 12 years of age. 22 weeks is granted per child.
  • Adoptive leave for 24 weeks is also granted for adoptive parents or single parents.
  • The carer's leave to care for a family member is granted in Ireland. It is for 13-104 weeks, but it is unpaid. Although employees can seek social welfare payments.

Annual leave

  • In Ireland, four weeks of earned leave is mandatory.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • February 6 - St. Brigid's Day
  • March 17 - St. Patrick's Day
  • April 10 - Easter Monday
  • May 1 - May Day
  • June 5 - June Bank Holiday
  • August 7 - August Bank Holiday
  • October 30 - October Bank Holiday
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
  • December 26 - St Stephen
  • December 31 - New Year's Eve

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Social Security

Social Security

Social Insurance Contribution in Ireland includes:
  • Jobseeker's benefits
  • Illness benefits
  • Maternity benefits
  • Invalidity benefits
  • Carer's benefits
  • State Pension
All of these benefits are contributory in nature, which means that benefits are subjective to the contribution made to the insurance fund by the employer and the employee.
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

  • Employers in Ireland deduct taxes from the employee's pay under the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system.
  • There are two funds that employers have to contribute to PRSI and USC.
    • The employers also contribute to pay Related to Social Insurance (PRSI). The contribution to PRSI is determined by the employee's earnings and allowance paid to the employee.
      Amount PRSI is 8.8% up to 395 Euro/ week and beyond that 11.05%
    • The contribution to Universal Social Change is 0.5-11%

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

  • The employee's deduction to the PRSI and USC is deducted directly from their income., based on the PAYE system.
  • This deduction is based on earnings and tax liabilities.
    Tax Rate on
    Income (in Euro)
    20% up to 36800
    Balance at 40%
    Single/widowed/surviving civil partner without children
    20% on 40800
    Balance at 40%
    Single/widowed/surviving civil partner with children
    20% up to 45800
    Balance at 40%
    Married/civil law partner (one spouse earning)
    20% up to 45800(+27800)
    Balance at 40%
    Married/ civil law partner (both spouses earning)
  • The employee's contribution to PRSI is 4.0% of their earning (if they earn 352 Euros/week).
  • The employee's contribution to USC is:
    RateIncome Band (In Euro)
    8%70,044 and above
    11%Self-employed over 100,000 Euro


  • The probation period in Ireland cannot exceed more than six months as per the law.
  • In certain circumstances, such as sickness, it can be exceeded for up to 12 months.

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  • In Ireland, termination of employment needs to be supported with a valid reason; otherwise, it will be termed unfair dismissal.
    Some of the reasonable reasons for termination are:
    • Voluntary resignation
    • Mutual termination
    • Expiration of probation period
    • Disciplinary action against the employee
    • unsatisfactory performance of the employee
    • Physical or mental capabilities
    • Expiration of work permit
  • The notice period in Ireland varies as per the duration of the employment:
    Duration of the employmentNotice Period
    13 weeks - 2 years1 week
    2 years - 5 years2 weeks
    5 years - 10 years4 weeks
    10 years - 15 years6 weeks
    15 years and above8 weeks
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

  • The severance pay in Ireland is the amount equivalent to two weeks of payment- a statutory requirement.
  • Market practice is to add another week to the severance pay.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

  • In Ireland, it is essential to rightly classify the employment type- whether a full-time employee or a contractor.
  • The distinction between the employee and the contractor is crucial to determine social insurance contributions.
  • The contractor has minimal statutory rights. Their services can be terminated at any time. Also, there is no maximum duration of their engagement.
  • Employers (full-time, part-time) have rights during their employment. They also have protection against unfair dismissal and access to the right wages and benefits.
  • Any misclassification between employment will invite a heavy penalty of 250,000 Euros and ten years of jail time.
Final Words

Final Words

Ireland is an economically prosperous country, attractive to skilled workforces due to its well-paying jobs and high standard of living. In such a country, the company must manage both labor regulations and HR compliances. Therefore, outsourcing it to an organization will help reduce the burden of compliance on the company.

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