The Minister for Business, Employment and Retail has announced that the government is to introduce new laws in the Autumn of 2022 which will revise and improve the Irish Employment permit system.

The new laws are set to modernise the current employment permit’s structure which is highly restrictive due to the legislation governing same and will create a more flexible and robust employment permit system which will greater serve the continuously growing Irish labour market.

The lack of flexibility in the current system has created significant obstacles and problems for employers seeking to hire non-EEA national employees to work in Ireland in recent years so the proposed new changes are a welcome improvement in a labour market which is continuously affected by staff and talent shortages across all sectors.

The current employment permit system is governed by a number of different pieces of legislation. The new system will consolidate the previous legislation into one law.

Some of the specific changes to the employment permit system are as follows:

  • The introduction of a seasonal employment permit.
  • Index linking of wage thresholds in order to keep in line with salary growth in Ireland.
  • Revision of the current labour market needs test.
  • Moving of operational criteria to Regulations, and the streamlining of a number of requirements to make the employment permit 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.
  • Allowing subcontractors to access the employment permit system.

The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork are hugely supportive of this announcement. We have witnessed in our daily practice far too many employers and non-EEA national employees struggling with the restrictive employment permit system in recent years to such an extent that it has even closed some businesses who have been unable to hire suitably qualified staff. We look forward to the publication of the Employment Permits Bill 2022 which will support the Irish economy and continue to attract foreign talent and investment to Ireland.

The full announcement of Minister English can be read here.

With offices in Dublin and Cork, Sinnott Solicitors have a dedicated team of Immigration Solicitors and Consultants who are experts on all Irish immigration matters including Irish Employment Permits and Employment Visas. If you have any queries on the contents of this article, or require assistance with your employment permit application, do not hesitate to contact our offices today on or 014062862.