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What do you need to know about employing Ukrainian workers in Ireland? 

Over 30,000 Ukrainians (mostly women and children) have entered Ireland under the temporary protection directive. With the temporary protection directive in place, Ukrainians are granted immediate access to the labour market in Ireland without any need to apply for further permission. In this post, we look at what needs to be considered when employing Ukrainian workers in Ireland.

In March, the European Union (EU), including Ireland,  put in place a Temporary Protection Directive  to allow Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing Ukraine to move through the EU as EU citizens. 

This means that people coming from Ukraine to Ireland can work and access services and benefits without making an application for international protection (refugee status). This directive applies to: 

  • Ukrainian citizens who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 
  • People who had refugee status (or another type of international protection) in Ukraine 
  • Stateless people who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 
  • Family members of the people above if they were living in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 

It also applies to people who had a permanent Ukrainian residence permit who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, and who cannot safely return to their countries. 

Temporary Protection Directive  

Under the Temporary Protection Directive, Ukrainians will get permission to live in Ireland for one year. Once they arrive in Ireland and fill out the relevant forms, they will get a letter from the Minister for Justice confirming they are a beneficiary of Temporary Protection in Ireland. This is all the proof they will need to be able to immediately access employment, income support, accommodation (if needed) and other State supports in Ireland. 

Since 24th February, over 30,000 Ukrainians (mostly women and children) have entered Ireland under the temporary protection directive. According to the Irish government there are 4,000 children enrolled in primary schools and 1,900 in secondary schools. The Revenue states that so far seven percent of the refugees have taken up employment in the country.  

What kind of work permit do Ukrainian workers need? 

Ukrainian nationals and their family members coming to Ireland do not require a work permit or visa. Once they have the permission letter confirming they have been granted Temporary Protection under the EU Directive, they will be granted immediate access to the labour market in Ireland without any need to apply for further permission. Employers should take a copy of this letter until the Department of Justice puts in place formal arrangements for the registration of an individual’s temporary protection status.  

Do the Irish authorities accept all Ukrainian professional degrees?  

Ukrainians must register to have their qualifications recognised to work in some professions. While people have started to join employment, the government is working hard to make sure the Ukrainians professional qualifications are recognised in Ireland.  

Data protection: are employers allowed to ask for a proof of the work permit?  

Ukrainian citizens can work legally in Ireland once they have received their letter confirming they have been granted Temporary Protection under the EU Directive. They are then also entitled to the full range of statutory employment rights and protections in the same manner as Irish workers. 

When they start working for the first time in Ireland all the need to do is provide their employer with their PPS number. Then the employer will be able to register their job with Revenue so they can pay taxes etc.  

What else do I need to know when creating the employment contract?  

Under the temporary directive, Ukrainians are entitled to the full range of statutory employment rights and protections in the same manner as Irish workers. Therefore, all employees that work in Ireland must receive a written statement of the terms of employment of starting work. Their contract must include: the name of employer and employee, address of employer, contract duration, calculation of pay and number of hours employee is expected to work per day / week.  

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