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Ireland Country
Guide 2024

Find everything you need for confident contracting and working in Ireland: labour law, taxation, employment compliance, payroll, benefits, and more.


Ireland is an island in Northwestern Europe, and it is an international hub with a beautiful countryside and bustling cities, but the general weather conditions tend to be on the wet and dreary side. Ireland has very accessible healthcare, abundant public transport, and it recognizes the ability to hold a dual citizenship.

The cost of living in Ireland is pretty steep, especially in the city centres, and living nearer the countryside limits the options for public transport; in addition, job prospects outside of Dublin can be hard to find. The social scene in Ireland is lively, but it does tend to revolve around pubs; however, Ireland is also home to an abundance of nature and wildlife, with scenery ranging from cliffs to beaches and national parks.

  • Capital: Dublin
  • Spoken Languages: Irish, English
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Minimum monthly wage: See the Minimum Wage section

Entry Visa

Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can enter Ireland with an identity card or a valid passport; other foreign citizens need a visa.

Work Permit / Residence Permit

Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can live and work without a work or residence permit in Ireland.

Other foreign nationals must acquire a Work Permit, and a Work Visa (long stay (D) visa). The application for a work permit is done online through EPOS (the Employment Permits Online System), and can be done by wither the employer or the employee. In order for the work visa to be approved, the employer must pass a labour market test, to ensure that there are no EU/EAA/Swiss nationals that are qualified for the job, and the salary must be at least EUR 30,000 per year; there are also certain occupations that fall under critical skills, in which case a labour market test is not required but the annual salary must be from EUR 30,000 – 80,000 depending on the job.

After the work permit has been received, the employee must apply for the work visa, which is also done online via AVATS (Irish online visa application facility). The work visa allows the individual to enter Ireland, but it is temporary; after arriving, the individual must register with immigration and receive an Ireland residence permit within the first 90 days. The residence permit is usually valid for at least 2 years initially, but it can be renewed.

Social Security Registration

Registration to Social Security can be done online; the individual will receive a Personal Public Service number (PPSN), which will help them access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland.

Working Hours

A standard working week in Ireland is 8 hours/day, or 40 hours/week. The average weekly working hours, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours over a reference period of 4 months. There are no statutory levels of overtime pay, however, many employers pay higher rates for overtime.

Remote Working

Employees with at least 6 months of service can request remote working. Requests to work remotely must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the intended start date. Once a request is received a response must be provided by the Employer within 4 weeks (possible to extend to 8 weeks).

Employers must consider both the business and employee needs. The Irish government of Ireland has created a remote working checklist which Employers can use as guidance. If a remote working request is refused, a reason must be provided to the employee.

Public Holidays

  • New Year’s Day, 01 Jan
  • St.Brigid’s Day, 05 Feb
  • St. Patrick’s Day, 17 Mar
  • Easter Monday, (Not a standard date, usually March/April)
  • May Bank Holiday, (1st Monday in May)
  • June Bank Holiday, (1st Monday in June)
  • August Bank Holiday, (1st Monday in August)
  • October Bank Holiday, (Last Monday in October)
  • Christmas Day, 25 Dec
  • St. Stephen’s Day, 26 Dec

Minimum Wage

The hourly minimum wage is the same for all employees aged 20 years and older. The hourly minimum wage for employees under 20 depends on their age.

Hourly minimum wage before tax as of 1 January 2024, by age:

AgeHourly minimum wage
20 years and older€12.70
19 years€10.17
18 years€9.04
17 years  and under€7.91
Based on 173.33 hours/month, the gross monthly minimum wage would equate to €2,202 for someone aged 20 or older.

Annual Leave

Full-time employees working in Ireland are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave. Part-time employees get a proportional amount, based on 8% of their hours worked, with a maximum of four weeks leave per year.

Sick Leave

From 1 January 2024, employees are entitled to a minimum of 5 days of sick pay per year, known as statutory sick pay (SSP). 5 days applies to both full and part-time workers and is valid per employer (e.g. an employee with 2 jobs is entitled to 10 days paid sick leave per year – 5 days paid by each employer).

SSP is paid by the employer at a rate of 70% of the employee’s regular pay, up to a daily cap of €110.

Maternity, Paternity Leave & Adoptive Leave

Maternity Leave26 weeks paid leave; at least 2 weeks to be taken before the baby is due, and at least 4 weeks to be taken after the birth. An additional 16 weeks unpaid maternity leave may also be possible. If the mother has enough social insurance contributions, she may receive a maternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection. Some employers may also  top up this benefit.

Paternity Leave:  2 weeks paid leave to be taken within 6 months of the birth.

Adoptive Leave: 24 weeks paid leave and up to 16 weeks additional unpaid leave for one parent of the adoptive couple, or a parent adopting alone.

Parental Leave, Parent’s Leave & Leave For (a child’s) Medical Care

Parental Leave: Unpaid leave of up to 26 weeks for parents and guardians of children under 12

Parent’s Leave:  Paid leave of up to 7 weeks for parents of children under 2 years of age, and parents of adopted children in the first 2 years of the placement of the child.

It was announced in the Budget for 2024 that Parent’s leave will be increased by 2 weeks to 9 weeks with effect from August 2024.

Leave For Medical Care: Unpaid leave of 5 days in any 12 consecutive months for parents who need time off work to deal with serious medical care for the child.

Termination & Severance

If employment is terminated due to redundancy, the employee is entitled to statutory redundancy pay, provided they have worked for the employer continuously for a minimum of 2 years and paid PRSI. The amount  of redundancy pay is equal to 2 weeks’ gross pay (capped at €600 per week) per year served, plus an additional one week’s wages. The payment is tax-free.

Employment termination for other reasons does not entitle the individual to redundancy pay, however, they may receive their pay in lieu of working during the notice period if agreed with the employer.

Notice Period


The notice period in Ireland is dependent on the length of service.

Duration of employmentMinimum notice period
13 weeks to 2 years1 week
2 years to 5 years2 weeks
5 years to 10 years4 weeks
10 years to 15 years6 weeks
15 years or more8 weeks


The statutory minimum notice for an employee is 1 week; the actual minimum notice period is normally sated in the contract of employment, and ca be longer

Social Security

Employee social insurance (PRSI) contributions are deducted automatically from the wage, while employer contributions are paid by the employers themselves. The amount of contributions is dependent on the employee’s earnings per week.

CategoryEmployer (%)Employee (%)
PRSI – Income < EUR 352/week8.8%0%
PRSI – Income EUR 352.01 – 441/week8.8%4%
PRSI – Income >= EUR 441/week11.05%4%

For individuals earning between EUR 352 and 424.00 per week, there is a credit which reduces the amount of PRSI paid. The maximum credit is EUR 12 for earnings of EUR 352, and is reduced by one-sixth of the weekly earnings over that amount. This credit is subtracted after the default 4% PRSI calculation.

NB. – All PRSI rates will increase by 0.1% on 1 October 2024

Universal Social Charge

The Universal Social Charge is an additional progressive tax on yearly income, and is calculated either weekly or monthly. While individuals earning less than EUR 13,000 per year are not subject to this tax, individuals earning more pay the USC on their full income.

Yearly Income (EUR)USC Rate (%)
0 – 12,0120.5%
12,012.01 – 22,9202%
22,920.01 – 70,0444%
70,044.01 +8%


State pensions in Ireland are covered by social security, and individuals who have paid sufficient PRSI contributions are eligible; the amount of the pension depends on the quantity of contributions.

The state pensionable age for 2024 is 66.

New auto-enrolment scheme:

In the second half of 2024, employees between the ages of 23 and 60, earning above €20,000 will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme (if they aren’t already in one). Those outside these parameters can opt into the pension scheme if they wish.

Key points to note:

Opt-out option: Individuals have the choice to opt out of the program after 6 months of automatic enrolment.

Phased-in contributions: The initial contribution for both the employee and employer will be 1.5%, increasing every three years until reaching 6% in year 10.

Government contribution: The government will contribute 0.5% initially, rising to 2% in year 10. This contribution comes in the form of tax relief rather than direct payment.

Management: A new independent body, the Central Processing Authority (CPA), will be responsible for administering the scheme and ensuring participant interests are protected.

Taxation in Ireland

The Irish fiscal year runs from January 1 to December 31.

Tax Rates

The following progressive rates apply for 2024:

Personal circumstances20%40%
Single or widowed; no childrenFirst EUR 42,000Balance of income
Single or widowed; qualifying for single person child carer creditFirst EUR 46,000Balance of income
Married couple or civil partnership; one spouse or civil partner with incomeFirst EUR 51,000Balance of income
Married couple or civil partnership; both with incomesFirst EUR 51,000 (increased by a maximum of EUR 33,000)Balance of income

Tax Credits

Individuals working in Ireland are entitled to personal tax credit(s), which reduce the tax payable by a fixed amount; the level of tax credit(s) is dependent upon the individual’s personal circumstances (e.g. marital status, whether they have children, etc.).

There is also an Employee Tax Credit; for 2024 this amounts to EUR 1,875, which is applicable to all individuals that are in employment.

Tax Returns

The annual income tax return must be filed online via the Revenue Online Service (ROS) between until the 31 October for the previous tax year.

Double Taxation

Ireland has tax treaties with multiple other countries, which can reduce payable tax on certain incomes. It is also possible to obtain tax relief in Ireland to avoid double taxation on the same income.

Health Insurance

Individuals working in Ireland are entitles to receive publicly funded health care, provided they are planning to stay in Ireland for at least a year. However, foreigners applying for a work visa must have private medical insurance in Ireland.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Ireland is one of the highest in Western Europe. The estimated monthly cost for a single person is around EUR 2,700, with up to 1,700 going to rent.

How We Can Help

We provide a full set of services in Ireland allowing corporate clients, recruitment agencies and professional contractors to operate in an optimal manner while ensuring that all local employment obligations are taken care of.

Access Financial offers the following solutions in Ireland:

  • Employed/EOR Solution
  • Limited Company Solution

If you would like to discuss how Access Financial can help in Ireland, please contact us.


We have prepared this as a guide only; it does not form part of an offer. Please request illustrations based on your specific case from one of our Solution Managers.