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Employing a worker in Ireland

As the only English-speaking country now in the European Union (EU), Ireland provides companies with many opportunities for global expansion. In this post, we provide information on employing a worker in Ireland.

Capital GES created our postcard series to help businesses that are considering expansion and employing global staff. In this postcard series, members of our sales and business development team provide helpful tips on international employment. Below, we discuss employment law in Ireland.

Ireland Overview

Since 2013, Ireland has enjoyed steady economic growth and is considered one of the fastest-growing economies in the Eurozone. Known for its young talented workforce, openness to foreign direct investment, and membership of the EU, Ireland is an attractive option for businesses looking to expand into Europe.

For investors, Ireland offers plenty of investment opportunities in many sectors such as medical, technology, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and IT. In fact, Ireland is a top five destination country for early-stage companies setting up in Europe. Since Brexit, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the EU.

Employing a worker in Ireland – Employment Laws to know

However, expanding into an unfamiliar country can be challenging, and Ireland is no different. Therefore, it’s vital to have local knowledge when expanding a business and employing workers in Ireland. Below, we discuss the most common questions asked by clients regarding employment in Ireland.

1. Contracts

Can I trial a worker using a fixed-term employment contract, as I am not sure whether it will work out in the long-term?

Yes, fixed-term contracts are available in Ireland, but there must be a justifiable reason to use them. In Ireland, fixed-term contracts can be renewed twice for a total of up to four years. Employees cannot be employed on a series of fixed-term contracts indefinitely, so if the employer wants the employee to continue in the job, they must be employed under a contract of indefinite duration. To ensure your worker stays fully compliant in Ireland, it is best to discuss your contract options with a local partner.

2. Termination Rules and Costs

What do I need to know about termination and severance pay in Ireland?

Notice Period

In Ireland, the notice period will depend on how long the worker has worked for the employer. Notice periods range from one week for employment periods up to two years, and to eight weeks as of the 15th year of employment.


Terminations in Ireland are often complex and should be considered with local experts before any notice is issued.

Contracts may be terminated by mutual agreement or unilaterally for due cause (serious cause, unfit for the role, extinction of the role). As a result of this complexity, terminations are often a negotiated process.

As seen above, terminations and severance pay can be complex in Ireland. So, before you decide to terminate an employment relationship, it’s best to discuss the options with a local partner.

3. Statutory Benefits

What are the statutory employee benefits in Ireland?

Statutory paid holiday

In Ireland, employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks of paid holiday leave. If an employee has a reduced or varied working pattern, their holiday entitlement will be pro-rated. In addition, employees in Ireland are also entitled to a paid holiday on Ireland’s nine public holidays.

Parental Leave


Female workers are entitled to 26 weeks paid maternity leave. This leave is paid €245 per week by the Department of Social Protection (if they have made enough social insurance contributions). Maternity leave must begin at least two weeks prior to the birth. Female workers can take an additional 16 weeks unpaid maternity leave.


Fathers (and other relevant persons) are entitled to a statutory paternity leave of two continuous weeks. This leave can be taken at any time in the six months following the birth of the child. Employers are not obliged to pay employees who are on paternity leave; however, employees may qualify for paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection.

Parent’s Leave

Another statutory leave that was introduced in Ireland is parent’s leave. Parent’s leave entitles each parent to two weeks of paid leave during the first year of a child’s life. Each parent is paid by the Department of Social Protection for two weeks. In April 2021, parent’s leave will be extended from three weeks to five.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is an unpaid leave of 26 weeks and can be taken by both parents. Employees are not entitled to payment from their employers, and there is no social welfare payment equivalent to maternity, paternity, and parent’s leave benefits.

Sick Pay

In general, employees in Ireland do not have a right to be paid whilst on sick leave. However, employees may apply for illness benefit if they have made enough social insurance contributions.

How Capital GES Can Help You Expand and Employ Workers in Ireland

If you are a business that is looking to expand internationally and employ workers in Ireland, Capital GES can help.

To establish what services you require, contact our sales team at , phone ​+41 32 732 9700 or fill in the form below.


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