Ireland

Overview

With a GDP of $307 billion, Ireland’s economy ranks 37th on a global scale with a total population of 5 million and a GDP (PPP) of $66,000 – one of the highest in the world. In the list of 80 countries compiled by the U.S. News Best Countries guide, Ireland is ranked 21st for its favorable business environment and overall quality of life. Ireland is primarily a trade-dependent country, and a lucrative option for investors and other international businesses due to its low taxation policies, developed infrastructure, and access to capital.

Currency: Euro (€)

Principal language: 100% English, 30% Irish Gaelic

Government: Republic, Parliamentary Democracy

Capital City: Dublin

Major Cities: Ulster, Munster, Leinster

Employment Contracts

Employers must provide a written employment contract to employees, which must contain:

  • The names of the employer and employee
  • Employer’s address
  • Location or address of work
  • Designation or job description
  • Employment commencement date
  • Salary/wages of employees
  • When the salary is payable
  • Duration of a temporary contract
  • Total work hours including overtime
  • Details about paid leave, sick leave, and pensions
  • Notice periods required both from the employees and the employer
  • Inclusion of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) affecting the terms and conditions of employment
  • Entitlement to rest periods and break times

Work/Time Regulations

The maximum average work hours for employees are 48 hours a week, excluding rest or lunch breaks. The average work hours are calculated over a 4 month reference period.

Employees are entitled to a 30-minute break after working for 6 hours and rest periods of a minimum of 11 consecutive hours in every 24-hour period and of 24 consecutive hours in a week. This rest period includes a Sunday unless specified otherwise in the employment contract. Employees working on Sundays are usually entitled to additional pay. There are also rules for workers in the night shifts.

“Working hours” include overtime, time spent for business trips, or training courses during normal working hours. It does not, however, include travel to and from work or time spent on annual, sick, protective, parental leave or on layoff, strike or lockout.

Separate provisions apply to employees who control their working hours. The maximum work week does not apply to trainee doctors, employees involved in transport activities, workers at sea, civil protection workers, or military personnel.

Leave

In Ireland, employees are entitled to 4 weeks’ annual leave.

Employees who are on maternity or health/safety leave, are also entitled to their entire annual leave. According to the Workplace Relations Act 2015, employees who are on sick leave are also entitled to accrue annual leaves and can take those leaves within 15 months from the end of the year during which the leaves accrued. Accrual of such leaves is limited to the 20 statutory annual leave days.

As specified under the Organization of Working Time Act 1997, employees are entitled to their entire annual leave who:

  • Work more than 1,365 hours in a leave year are entitled to 4 weeks’ paid annual leave or
  • work one-third of a work week for each month during which employees work for a minimum of 117 hours, or
  • work 8% of the total hours in a leave year, can get maximum of 4 working weeks.
  • are on maternity, or
  • are on health and safety leave.

Employers usually decide the time of annual leave, however they consider the needs of their employees including family responsibilities and opportunities for rest. Employees who work for 8 or more months in a leave year are entitled to 2 weeks of uninterrupted leave.

Holidays
Employees are entitled to nine paid holidays. These are:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • 1st Monday in May
  • 1st Monday in June
  • 1st Monday in August
  • Last Monday in October
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: St. Stephen’s Day

In the case holidays fall on a weekend, they are not moved to any other day, and employees are not entitled to the next working day off.

Benefits

  • Maternity Leave
  • Paternity Leave
  • Caregiver’s Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Surrogacy Leave
  • Compassionate Leave
  • Force Majeure Leave

The information shared here provides general information, and is not accredited legal advice.

How GPS can Help

With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into Ireland and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in Ireland.

  • Your candidate is hired via our Ireland PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
  • Your new employee begins work quickly as we take care of employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and running their payroll - all in full compliance with Ireland laws.
  • Global PEO Services experts manage all day-to-day operational issues such as employee expenses, and severance/termination if required.
  • With no contractor risks, pass on the compliance burden to Global PEO Services.

Spin Off/M&A Support

  • Ensure continuity of payroll, benefits and HR support when acquiring or spinning off a business with employees overseas.

24/7 Support in 100+ Countries

  • Empower your teams with 24/7 support and a single point-of-contact model in which experienced client services directors are in continuous communication with information and advice.
  • We are backed by a mix of 300+ multidisciplinary experts from HR, Payroll, Finance, Tax, and Legal domains who are ready to respond to the expected and unexpected needs of your business on the shortest notice.

Easy Visibility into Your Employee Time & Attendance and Benefits Data
With our Global PEO, you get access to Mihi, our proprietary SaaS solution for time and attendance, vacation, leave management and benefits enrollment and managements. Mihi enables clients to have easy access to employee data in real time. It is designed specifically for companies with a global workforce, especially when working in multiple countries with low headcounts.

Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Lean more about our end-to-end international expansion services.