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Review of Economic Migration Policy

GES Newsflash

What is the change? In the report of the Inter-Departmental Group Review of Economic Migration Policy, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation has announced the Group’s recommendations to various aspects of the Employment Permit regime both in the short to medium term and in the longer term which will require amendments to primary legislation.

What does the change mean? Among the recommendations is the introduction of a seasonal employment permit to fill labour shortages and a more responsive system for allowing employment permits to be issued for occupations with skills shortages. Under the current system, the government conducts a review of the list of highly skilled and ineligible occupations twice a year.

  • Implementation time frame: Estimated 2018-2019 for short to medium term recommendations and 2019-2020 for long term recommendations requiring amendment by primary legislation.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment Permits, Seasonal Employment Permits.
  • Business impact: The recommendations will assist the seasonal worker sector. It hopes to give businesses more flexibility and to allow the government to respond more quickly to changing labour market demands.

Deloitte’s View:

A new process of reviewing the highly-skilled and ineligible occupations lists was proposed. Currently, the DBEI conducts a twice-yearly review of the two lists, largely based on industry research, sectoral reports, and public consultation. The new approach, if approved, would allow various Government Departments to take the lead in proposing changes to the occupations lists for industries where a particular Department has clear lead policy responsibility. The idea of creating a positive “eligible occupations” list was also put forward.

The report also details, amongst other things, potential changes to the following areas:

  • 50:50 rule waivers – Extending a waiver of the 50% EEA / 50% non-EEA employee requirement to certain situations involving sole operators and start-up companies.
  • Labour market testing – Extending the EEA-wide advertising period from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
  • CSEP remuneration thresholds – Increasing the current lower and upper thresholds by 6.7% to €32,000 (highly-skilled job + relevant degree) and €64,000 (any eligible role + work experience only) respectively.
  • New CSEP subcategory – Creating an intermediary CSEP category, with a minimum salary threshold set between €30,000 and €60,000, for occupations on the highly-skilled list, where the worker has relevant experience but no relevant third-level degree.
  • Dependants’ right to work – Extending the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit to dependants of ICT Employment Permit holders.
  • Seasonal Employment Permit – Introducing a mechanism for short-term non-EEA workers in lower-skilled seasonal occupations.

We look forward to future engagement on the continued review of the employment permit system that will address further expansive areas impacting our clients.

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