GES Newsflash - Consultation period for Employment Permits changes now open

What is the change?

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation has opened a public consultation period on a set of proposed changes to Ireland’s Employment Permits system.

What does the change mean?

The proposals include introducing seasonal employment permits, revising the labour market test, streamlining Trusted Partner and renewal applications and simplifying salary requirements, among others. Employers have until Jan. 17, 2020 to provide submissions in response to the consultation.

  • Implementation time frame: Between now and Jan. 17, 2020.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment Permits. 
  • Who is affected: Irish companies hiring and recruiting foreign employees.
  • Business impact: The proposals are designed to address inefficiencies in the employment permits system and make it more accessible for certain employees to obtain work authorization.

Additional information: Officials announced the proposed changes in November. Under the proposed legislation, Ireland would do the following: 

  • Introduce seasonal work permits. 
  • Revise the labour market needs test to make it more “relevant and efficient.”
  • Create a scheme to address “exceptional circumstances” where an employment permit would be granted even the criteria for granting a General Employment Permit could not be met. 
  • Streamline the processes for Trusted Partner and renewal applications.
  • Provide fee refunds for employment permits that are not used or approved. 
  • Simplification of salary requirements.
  • Waive a rule that says there must be at least one EEA employee for every non-EEA employee (the “50:50 rule”) if the employment permit holder is the company’s only employee. 

Employers interested in providing a submission should (1) send an email to, using the subject line Consultation on General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill; or (2) send their response by post to Economic Migration Policy Unit, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2. More information is available on this website.

Analysis & Comments: The public consultation period offers employers an opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed changes to the employment permits system. Employers interested in providing a submission are encouraged to work with Deloitte in doing so.

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