header eures en 5

Ireland

Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Ireland on the EURES Portal.

Finding a job

Before leaving for Ireland you should first look at Irish job opportunities and seek pre-departure advice and information from Eures Advisers in your own country. You can contact them at your local Public Employment Service Office (also see EURES website www.eures.europa.eu).  On arrival, one of your first points of contact for assistance in securing employment and other information on Ireland should be a EURES Adviser or your local Intreo office (please note a PPS number may be required in order to obtain any of the services offered by Intreo). Please visit www.gov.ie/EuresIreland for more information on job searching in Ireland.

EEA nationals have free access to the services of the Irish employment service. Details of vacancies in Ireland can be accessed through any Employment Services Office/Intreo Office and/or the Jobs Ireland site www.jobsireland.ie

Private Recruitment Agencies cannot charge job seekers for the basic service of registering on their databases. All agencies must be licensed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. A list of licensed employment agencies is available from the Employment Agency Licensing Section of the Department. For further information log onto   https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/what-we-do/employment-rights-information/licensing/employment_agency_licensing_.html

Private agencies are also listed under "Employment Agencies" in the Golden Pages Telephone Directory www.goldenpages.ie and at the Agencies’ Association, the National Recruitment Federation www.nrf.ie

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Applying for a job

Applications

Application letters

Your letter of application should be typed on plain white A4 paper. You should write clearly and you should highlight your personal qualities and your relevant experience. Copies of qualifications, references should be included. Most companies will reply to your letter even if you have been unsuccessful.
If you have not been contacted within about four weeks, you may wish to telephone the company to make sure your letter was received.

Application forms

When applying for a job, you may be asked to fill in an application form. The use of such forms is widespread, but they tend to follow a similar format. Standard questions may cover education and training, work experience, hobbies and personal interests. Companies in Ireland like to get an idea of what you do outside work as this might provide an insight into the qualities you would bring to the job. You only need to supply a photograph if this is requested on the form. It is critical that your form arrives with the company before the specified closing date. If your form is late, it may not even be considered.

Interviews

If a company is impressed with your application letter or form, they are likely to offer you an interview. Please note that under EURES mobility schemes (‘TMS) you may apply for a financial support to cover an interview trip to another EU/EEA country. Some employers may be happy to interview you over the phone or Skype however depending on the job sometimes face-to face interview may be necessary.

You may be interviewed by just one person or by a panel of interviewers. They will ask you questions in an attempt to find out whether you are the person they are looking for. You may well be asked questions about your motivation, your education and about the company itself. You may also be asked to expand on information given in your application letter or form. It is crucial that you be thoroughly prepared for the interview. Find out as much as you can about the company, as well as any current issues in its market sector. If you can talk authoritatively about the company you will create a good impression. You should take with you copies of your CV, qualifications, employer testimonials and any other documents you think you may need.

Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should be one to two pages long and provide an account of you, your work experience and your qualifications. There is no set format, but you should generally include:

  •       Your personal details
  •       Your education (including schools, dates and places)
  •       Your work experience (including dates, most recent job first) including volunteering
  •       Your language skills (especially if English is not your first language); and
  •       Your interests and hobbies.

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Finding accommodation

It is highly advisable to have accommodation arranged before you come to Ireland. Hostels are generally the cheapest form of temporary accommodation; some “Bed and Breakfast” outlets also offer good rates.

Rented accommodation

Rented accommodation is available both furnished and unfurnished. Deposits of up to one month's rent are normally required. Accommodation for rent is advertised on the internet. Estate agents in Ireland both sell and let property. It is common in Ireland for people who have not met before to rent a house together and to share the costs of the house, including gas, telephone and electricity bills. If you live in private rented accommodation and you pay income tax (PAYE) in Ireland you may be eligible for tax relief on part of your rent (this applies only to people who were already renting at 7 December 2010, also if they entered a different rental agreement after that date). Form Rent 1 is available from the local tax office: www.revenue.ie

If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent you may apply for Rent Supplement. The rules for Rent Supplement are complex. You will not get Rent Supplement if you are in full-time employment, however, you may be able to retain your Rent Supplement if you have been unemployed for 12 months and are returning to work. More information on Rent Supplement can be found on https://www.gov.ie/en/

Buying Property

Details of houses for sale are available in newspapers, estate agents and on the internet. You can get a mortgage from banks, building societies or mortgage brokers. Interest rates vary and may be at a fixed or variable rate.

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Recognition of diplomas and qualifications

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

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Kinds of employment

The minimum age for a regular job in Ireland is 16. A person under 18 may not be employed for more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day, except in a genuine emergency.

Types of employment in Ireland

Employed or self-employed?

While in most cases it will be perfectly clear who is an employee in Ireland, sometimes a business anxious to avoid employment legislation, tax and social insurance may insist that all people working for the firm are self-employed rather than employees. Deciding whether you are employed or self-employed has a number of implications for you. The majority of employment protection legislation in Ireland applies to employees only and the tax and social insurance system will treat you very differently depending on whether you are employed or self-employed. The Code of Practice in determining Employment Status (pdf) https://www.revenue.ie/en/self-assessment-and-self-employment/documents/code-of-practice-on-employment-status.pdf contains criteria which can be used to clarify whether a person is employed or self-employed. In most cases, it is clear whether a person is an employee or not. However if this is a problem for you, then it is best to get more detailed legal advice or guidance from your local tax office or the Scope Section of the Department of Social Protection http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/What-does-Scope-Section-do.aspx

Part-time employees

The number of people working in part-time employment in Ireland has greatly increased in the past few years. One of the reasons is a more flexible, family-friendly attitude by employers to employees working in this way. Part-time employees are in a similar position to full-time employees when it comes to employment protection legislation, although in some instances a part-time employee will need to work a set minimum number of hours for a set period of time before acquiring rights. You can read more about the Protection of Part time Employees in Ireland in The Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001.

Fixed-term employees

Many more people are now employed on a fixed-term basis (or on specific purpose contracts). Employees working on repeated fixed-term contracts are covered under the Unfair Dismissals legislation; however they need to have at least one year's continuous service before they can bring a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Act. Under the Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003, employers cannot continually renew fixed term contracts. Employees can only work on one or more fixed term contracts for a continuous period of four years. After this the employee is considered to have a contract of indefinite duration (e.g. a permanent contract). 

Casual employees

There is no definition of 'casual employees' in employment law in Ireland. In reality, casual workers are on standby to do work as required without fixed hours or attendance arrangements. However, these workers are employees, for employment rights purposes. Some legislation will apply, for example, the right to receive a pay slip. In other instances where a set period of employment is required it will be unlikely that a casual employee will have sufficient service to qualify, for example, two years’ service is required in order to be entitled to statutory redundancy.

Seasonal work

In Ireland there is no separate legislation provision to distinguish the difference between those identified as those employed in seasonal work compared to those in any other type of employment.

Certain sectors of the labour market in Ireland are depended on seasonal workers, for example the fruit picking industry, who require approximately 1,500 workers per year.  Seasonal Workers employment status of employment rights are equal as that of all other workers in the state who have fixed term or temporary contract.

A contract of employment must specify the following under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 and 2001. Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018.

  • Full name of employee
  • Full name of employer
  • Address of employer
  • If temporary contract (expected duration of temporary contract)
  • If fixed term contract (date on which contract expires) 
  • Rate of remuneration
  • Minimum wage pay reference period (weekly, monthly or otherwise) period used to calculate hourly rate of pay or the National Minimum Wage Act 2000) The employee may, under Section 23 of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, request from the employer a written statement of the employee’s average hourly rate of pay for any pay reference period falling within the previous 12 months. Since 1 February 2020, the national minimum wage is €10.10 per hour, as set out in the National Minimum Wage Order 2020.
  • Applicable employment regulation order or sectoral employment order
  • The number of hours (including overtime) which the employer reasonably expects the employee to work

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Employment contracts

Contract of Employment

Anyone who works for an employer for a regular wage or salary automatically has a contract of employment whether written or not. This may be expressed or implied, oral or in writing.

The Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994   http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1994/en/act/pub/0005/index.html requires employers to provide employees with a written statement of certain particulars of their terms of employment. The Acts do not apply to a person who has been in the continuous service of the employer for less than 1 month.

An employer is obliged to provide an employee with a written statement of terms of employment within the first two months of the commencement of employment.

The statement of terms must include the following information:

  • the full name of employer and employee
  • the address of the employer
  • the place of work
  • the job title/nature of the work
  • the date of commencement of employment
  • the expected duration of contract (if temporary contract) or the date on which   the contract will expire (if fixed-term contract)
  • rate or method of calculation of pay
  • that the employee may, under section 23 of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, request from the employer a written statement of the employee’s average hourly rate of pay for any pay reference period as provided in that section.
  • pay intervals
  • the terms and conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime and entitlements to rest breaks and rest periods as per the Organisation of Working Time Act)
  • terms and conditions relating to paid leave (other than sick leave)
  • terms and conditions relating to sick/injury leave and sick pay and pensions and pension schemes
  • the amount of notice which the employee is entitled to receive and obliged to give
  • reference to any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment.

Probationary period

The contract can include a probationary period and can allow for this period to be extended. If an employee is on probation, he or she cannot rely on unfair dismissals legislation unless he or she has more than one year's service; or is dismissed for trade union membership or activity; pregnancy-related matters or claiming maternity rights. Rights such as information on matters like terms of employment, holidays and pay slips apply to an employee even while he or she is on probation.

If your employer fails to give you written details of the terms of your contract, you can bring a complaint to theWorkplace Relations Commission. You must make the complaint while you are in employment or within 6 months of leaving your employment.

Changes to your contract of employment in Ireland can occur due to a change in the law, but otherwise, changes must be agreed between your employer and yourself. The legislation covering notification of changes to your contract is set out in Section 5 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994.

For information or complaint forms in relation to the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994, contact:

Workplace Relations Commission

Information and Customer Service

O'Brien Road

Carlow

R93 E920

Ireland

Tel: (059) 917 8990

Locall: 1890 80 80 90

Homepage: https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/

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Working time

The maximum an employee should work in an average working week is 48 hours. This working week average should be calculated over a four-month period.

There are however some exceptions to this average period.

Breaks

Employees are entitled to:

  • A daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24 hours
  • A weekly rest period of 24 consecutive hours per seven days, following a daily rest period
  • A 15-minute break if working 4.5 hours.
  • A 30-minute break if working six hours.

Payment for breaks is not a statutory entitlement. Some industries are covered by Registered Employment Agreements (REA's) and Employment Regulation Orders (ERO's), which may contain regulations regarding breaks. For more information visit the Department ofBusiness, Enterprise and Innovation   www.dbei.ie or the Workplace Relations Commission: www.workplacerelations.ie

Sundays

If you do Sunday work your entitlement to extra pay may be agreed between you and your employer. Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, if there is no agreement about your pay, your employer must give you one or more of the following for Sunday working:

  • A reasonable allowance
  • A reasonable pay increase
  • Reasonable paid time off work

What is reasonable depends on all the circumstances. It is a matter for negotiation between you and your employer and, where applicable, your trade union. Some guidance may be obtained by referring, where possible, to an agreement applying to comparable employees elsewhere in similar employment.

Overtime

Overtime is work done outside normal working hours. Employers have no statutory obligation to pay employees for work completed in overtime. However, many employers pay employees higher rates of pay for overtime. Your contract of employment should state whether you are required to work overtime and should set out the rates of pay, if you are to be paid for it. Certain sectors of employment are covered by Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements and may have higher rates of pay for overtime than for normal hours. For more information visit the Workplace Relations Commission

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Leave (annual leave, parental leave etc)

There are many types of leave or time off work to which you may be entitled. These include annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, adoptive leave, carer’s leave and parental leave. There are also times when you may require leave or time off work for specific reasons. This could be when you have a family crisis, when you are called for jury service or if you wish to take study leave or a career break. In some cases you are entitled to paid leave but in others you are not.

Annual leave:

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997/en/act/pub/0020/index.html provides for a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks, although an employee's contract could give greater rights. It is also important to note that the periods of leave provided for by legislation are the minimum entitlements only, you and your employer may agree to additional entitlements.

Public Holidays

There are nine public holidays each year:

1. New Year’s Day

2. St. Patrick’s Day

3. Easter Monday

4. The first Monday in May

5. The first Monday in June

6. The first Monday in August

7. The last Monday in October

8. Christmas Day

9. St. Stephen’s Day

Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. One exception is part-time employees who have not worked for their employer at least 40 hours in total in the 5 weeks before the public holiday.

Employees who qualify for public holiday benefit will be entitled to one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day's pay
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

Maternity leave:

If you become pregnant while in employment in Ireland, you are entitled to take maternity leave. The entitlement to a basic period of maternity leave from employment extends to all female employees in Ireland (including casual workers), regardless of how long you have been working for the organisation or the number of hours worked per week. You can also avail of additional unpaid maternity leave. The Maternity Protection Act 1994 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1994/en/act/pub/0034/index.html and the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2004/en/act/pub/0028/index.html provide your statutory minimum entitlements in relation to maternity at work including maternity leave. In general, you are entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave together with 16 weeks additional unpaid maternity leave, which begins immediately after the end of maternity leave.

Paternity leave:

New parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to paternity leave from employment or self-employment following birth or adoption of a child. The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks.

Paternity leave can be started at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.

Sick leave:

In general an employee has no right under employment law in Ireland to be paid while on sick leave. Consequently, it is at the discretion of the employer to decide his/her own policy on sick pay and sick leave, subject to the employee’s contract or terms of employment. Under Section 3 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1994/en/act/pub/0005/sec0003.html an employer must provide an employee with a written statement of terms of employment including terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury. You may apply for Illness Benefit from  the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protectionif you have enough social insurance contributions. If you do not have enough social insurance contributions, you should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's representative (formerly the Community Welfare Officer) at your local health centre who will assess your situation.

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Remuneration

Under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2000/en/act/pub/0005/index.html most employees in Ireland are entitled to a minimum wage. Since 1 January 2021, the national minimum wage is €10.20 per hour. The minimum rate of pay changes from time to time.  Details of current minimum rates are always available from the Workplace Relations Customer Services of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. For more information please log onto www.workplacerelations.ie

There are some exceptions to those entitled to receive the national minimum wage. The legislation does not apply to a person employed by a close relative (for example, a spouse or parent) nor does it apply to those in statutory apprenticeships. Also some employees such as young people under 18 and trainees are only guaranteed a reduced or sub-minimum rate of the national minimum wage.

From January 2021 the national the sub-minimum rates for young people are as follows:

  • An employee who is under 18 is entitled to € 7.14 per hour (this is 70% of the minimum wage)
  • An employee aged 18 is entitled to € 8.16 per hour (80% of minimum wage)
  • aged 19 is entitled to €9.18 per hour (90% of the minimum wage)

Certain sectors of industry, including agriculture, catering, contract cleaning, hairdressing, hotel, retail trade, security industry and construction are covered by legally binding Agreements / Orders ( EROs – Employment Regulation Orders; REAs – Registered Employment Agreements which set minimum rates of pay, which may be in excess of the National Minimum Wage.

To check for a full list of employments currently covered by these Agreements / Orders contact the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment 

Employees are legally entitled to receive a pay slip with every payment of wages. This pay slip should show: gross wage, the nature and amount of each deduction and the net wage. Complaints about pay or deductions can be made to  the Workplace Relations Commission. An online complaint form is available on www.workplacerelations.ie

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End of employment

Both employees and employers are obliged to give notice in the case of termination of employment under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1973/en/act/pub/0004/index.html

If you decide to change your job, you must by law tell your employer that you plan to leave. This is called giving notice. The length of notice you must give is set down in law and is usually stated in your contract of employment.

You do not have to give notice if you:

  • Have been working for your employer for less than 13 weeks, and
  • Have no contract of employment specifying a notice period

Employers must give employees notice dependent on length of the employee’s service.

Length of Service

Minimum notice

Thirteen weeks to two years

One Week

Two to five years

Two Weeks

Five to ten years

Four Weeks

Ten to fifteen years

Six Weeks

Fifteen years or more

Eight Weeks

Your employer does not have to give you notice if you:

  • Have been working for them for less than 13 weeks, or
  • Are guilty of gross misconduct, or
  • Agree to waive your right to notice

Redundancy

Where you lose your job in Ireland due to circumstances such as the closure of the business or a reduction in the number of staff this is known as redundancy. Generally a redundancy situation arises if your job ceases to exist and you are not replaced. The RedundancyPaymentsAct1967,    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1967/act/21/enacted/en/html provides a minimum entitlement to a redundancy payment for employees who have a set period of service with the employer. Not all employees are entitled to this statutory redundancy payment, even where a redundancy situation exists. If you do qualify for redundancy there are specific redundancy procedures which employers and employees must follow in order to comply with the legislation.

The statutory redundancy payment is a lump-sum payment based on the pay of the employee. All eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Two weeks' pay for every year of service they have since they were 16 and
  • One further week's pay

The amount of statutory redundancy is subject to a maximum earnings limit of €600 per week (€31,200

per year).

Pay refers to your current normal weekly pay including average regular overtime and benefits-in-kind, but before tax and PRSI deductions, that is your gross pay.

The statutory redundancy payment is tax-free.

For further information about the Redundancy Payments Scheme contact:

Redundancy Payments Section

Department of Social Protection

Gandon House

Amiens Street

Dublin 1

D01 A361

Phone: (01) 6734501

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Workplace Relations Customer Services

(formerly Information Services of the National Employment Rights Authority)

Telephone: (059) 9178990

Email: https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/

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The health system

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national and are travelling or staying in Ireland you are entitled to receive free maintenance and treatment in public beds in Health Service Executive (HSE) and voluntary hospitals should you become ill or have an accident.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) makes it easier for you to get medical care quickly and easily. It is evidence that you are part of a health insurance scheme administered by another state in the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

Out-patient services in public hospitals are also free of charge but some people may have to pay an initial charge if they have not been referred by a Doctor (GP-General Practitioner). If you are in a private hospital or in a private bed in a public hospital, you must pay for both maintenance and treatment. If you have private health insurance it may cover some or all of the costs.

For comprehensive information on hospital services in Ireland have a look at Citizens Information www.citizensinformation.ie website.

Accident and Emergency / Casualty

Most general hospitals and some specialist hospitals have accident and emergency or casualty departments which patients may attend without being referred by a GP. If you attend without a GP referral, you may be charged. However, if you have to return for further visits in relation to the same illness or accident, you do not have to pay the charge again.

Free healthcare - medical cards

A medical card issued by the Health Service Executive (HSE) www.hse.ie in Ireland enables the bearer to receive certain health services free of charge. If your Income is below a certain level you may be entitled to free healthcare (a Medical Card). This can be checked at your local Health Service Executive office. If you are issued with a medical card, the card would normally cover you and your dependent spouse and child dependants. Details of your local Health Services Executive www.hse.ie office.

From 1 July 2015, children under the age of 6 are entitled to free visits to a GP that is taking part in the scheme.

In addition to free GP visits, the card covers specific assessments at age 2 and 5 and care for children with asthma.

You can apply for this at: https://www2.hse.ie/services/gp-visit-cards/under-6s-gp-visit-card.html

Private Health Insurance

There are a number of providers of private health insurance in Ireland.

Private health Insurance companies:

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Income and taxation

Detailed information on taxes and tax reliefs in Ireland can be obtained from the Revenue Commissioners website: www.revenue.ie

Below you can find some examples of the most common taxes in Ireland:

Income tax

Your new employer must deduct tax from your pay under the PAYE system. To make sure that your tax is properly dealt with from the start and that your employer deducts the right amount of tax from your pay you should do two things:

  • Give your employer your PPS No. (Personal Public Service Number). He/she will then let the tax office know that you have started work.
  • Apply for a certificate of tax credits by completing Form 12A (Application for a Certificate of Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cut-Off Point) and sending it to the tax office. Ask your employer for a form 12A. Your employer will tell you to which tax office the completed form 12A should be sent. If your employer does not have a form 12A, you can get one from any tax office or telephone Lo Call 1890 306706. Ideally, you should do all this as soon as you accept an offer of a job - even if it is only part-time or holiday employment. This will give your employer and the tax office time to get things sorted out before your first pay-day.

What happens next?

There are Personal tax allowances granted to individuals by a system of Tax Credits http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/index.html .

The tax office will send you a Certificate of Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cut-Off Point, which sets out in detail the amount of tax credits due to you. The tax office will also send a Certificate of Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cut-Off Point to your employer which shows the total amount of your tax credits.

When do you start to pay income tax?

You will normally start to pay tax from your first pay-day. The amount of tax you pay depends on your level of pay and the amount of your tax credits.

Personal income tax rates.

at 20% first

at 40%

Single person

€35,300

Balance

Married couple/ civil partners  (one income)

€44,300

Balance

Married couple/ civil partners (two incomes)

Up to €70,600 (increase limited to the amount of the second income)

Balance

One parent family

€39,300

Balance

The Universal Social Charge (USC)

 The Universal Social Charge is a tax charged on your gross income before any pension contributions or PRSI. You pay the USC if your gross income is more than €13,000 per year. Once your income is over this limit, you pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income.

Value Added Tax (VAT) http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vat/index.html is a tax on consumer spending. It is added to the price of most goods and services. The standard rate of VAT in Ireland is 23% although there are some exceptions.

Excise Duties http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/excise/index.html are taxes levied on consumer items such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Motor Tax is a compulsory tax on all vehicles. A motor tax disc is issued for 3, 6 or 12 months and how the rate is calculated depends on the size of vehicle. On the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government's website you can view the motor tax rates. Motor tax rates are also available at www.motortax.ie and paid online. Alternatively, you can contact the Motor Taxation Office of the local authority for more information and to pay your motor tax.

Capital Acquisition Tax http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/cat/index.html is paid by the receiver of a gift or inheritance. It does not apply to gifts or inheritance between spouses.

Local Property Tax (LPT) http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/lpt/index.html  charged on all residential properties in the State came into effect from 1 July 2013. 

Further information:

Revenue Commissioners

Upper Yard, Dublin Castle

Dublin 2

D02 F342

Telephone: 1890 236336

Callers from outside the Republic of Ireland: +353 1 7023056  

Website:  www.revenue.ie

Text last edited on: 05/2021

The education system

The Irish education system is made up of primary, second, third-level and further education. Education is compulsory for children in Ireland from the ages of 6 to 16 or until students have completed three years of second-level education. Most children in Ireland begin school at the age of 4. State funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution.

Pre-school education

Pre-school education is usually provided by privately funded child-care facilities or providers. Some pre-school initiatives focused on children at risk are funded by the Department of Education and Skills. Legislation on school attendance requires children to be at school (or receiving an education) from the age of 6. In practice, almost all 5-year-olds and about half of 4-year-olds actually attend primary schools.

The State pays a capitation fee to participating playschools and daycare services. In return, they provide a pre-school service free of charge to all children aged from 2 years and 8 months until they transfer to primary school, provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the pre-school year(The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme). In general, the provision amounts to 3 hours per day, 5 days a week over certain number of weeks for children enrolled in participating playschools.

Primary (first level) education

Children do not have to attend school until the age of six but it is usual for children to begin school the September following their fourth birthday. Four-year-olds and five-year-olds are enrolled in the junior or senior infant classes. Primary schools are generally privately-owned by religious communities (or boards of governors) but are State-funded.

Second level education

Second level education is provided by different types of post-primary schools. That is, secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools. Second level education consists of a three-year junior cycle followed by a two-year or three-year senior cycle depending on whether an optional Transition Year is taken following the Junior Certificate examination. Students generally commence the junior cycle at the age of 12. The Junior Certificate is taken after three years.

Third level education

Third level education is made up of a number of sectors. The university sector, the technological sector and the colleges of education are substantially funded by the State. In addition there are a number of independent private colleges. There are seven universities and they are autonomous and self-governing. They offer degree programmes at bachelor, masters and doctorate level. The technological sector includes institutes of technology which provide programmes of education and training in areas such as business, science, engineering, linguistics and music to certificate, diploma and degree levels. The Department of Education and Skills has overall responsibility for the sector. There are five colleges of education. These specialise in training for first level teachers. They offer a three-year bachelor of education degree and an 18-month post-graduate diploma.

Further and adult education

Further education comprises education and training which takes place after second-level schooling but which is not part of the third-level system. It includes programmes such as Post-Leaving Certificate courses; the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, programmes in Youthreach for early school-leavers; other literacy and basic education; and self-funded evening adult programmes in second-level schools.

For more information on the Irish education system visit: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/education/

Text last edited on: 05/2021

Cultural and social life

Ireland has two official languages - Irish Gaelic and English.

Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is Ireland’s official national day. It is a national holiday and festival parades are held in towns and cities all around the country.

The Irish landscape has many places of natural beauty and historical significance, which have influenced the artistic, cultural and literary nature of its people for thousands of years. Heritage Ireland www.heritageireland.ie website is designed to introduce you to some of the many rich and varied attractions of Ireland's heritage.

Music is an intrinsic part of Irish culture from the traditional Irish song and ballads in the past to our world famous modern musicians such as U2, Van Morrison and The Corrs. Dancing has always been part of Ireland’s culture and traditional dance has been revolutionised by the success of Riverdance. The pub is traditionally the favoured place for socialising and 'going for a pint' is something of a national pastime’. There are over 10,000 pubs in Ireland, many offering live traditional and modern music as well as pub-grub (food). All pubs and restaurants in Ireland are now smoke-free zones.

Gaelic football, hurling and camogie are very popularand traditional sports exclusive to Ireland and the Irish communities abroad. Fishing, sailing, horse racing, shooting, windsurfing, hill walking are all well supported and recognised sports.

Currency

The Republic of Ireland is a eurozone member state. The unit of currency is the Euro

Text last edited on: 05/2021

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