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Ireland, officially known as the Republic of Ireland, is a small island country to the west of England and Wales, from which it is separated by the narrow Irish Sea. Since 1921, the Republic of Ireland has occupied 86% of the island of Ireland, with the remainder (usually referred to as “Northern Ireland”) being part of the United Kingdom. Both Irish and English are official languages, although Irish is spoken in mostly non-formal settings. Tourism has long been a staple of the Irish economy, with more than 10 million people visiting the “Emerald Isle” each year. Pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, machinery and cosmetics are major industries in Ireland. Ireland exports much of its production, especially to the European Union (EU) and the United States. Technology, financial services and insurance companies also contribute significantly to the Irish economy. An EU member since 1973, Ireland stands out as a strategic European base with economic and political stability and is an excellent destination for international expansion.

Employment contracts in Ireland are generally for an indefinite period, though they can be for a fixed term. Fixed term contracts, which are less common but still widely used, are generally used for piece work or to hire a worker for a specific task. There is no requirement that employment contracts must be in writing, but the employer must provide a written statement to the employee within five days of the start of employment which must include:

  • names of the employer and the employee,

  • address of the employer,

  • expected duration of the contract (if it is for a limited period of time),

  • employee’s rate of pay or method of calculating pay,

  • payment interval (e.g. every two weeks), and

  • employee’s anticipated normal working hours per day and per week.

The standard work period in Ireland is 39 hours a week and cannot exceed an average of 48 hours per week. Night workers who work for three hours or more between midnight and 7 a.m. and work at least half of their working hours during the year between midnight and 7 a.m. should not work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.

Employees in Ireland receive three days of paid sick leave in 2023, increasing to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026 and beyond. Employers pay employees on sick leave 70% of their daily wages, up to a maximum amount of 110 euros (EUR) per day.

Female employees are entitled to up to 26 weeks of maternity leave in Ireland, with at least two weeks taken before the birth and four weeks after. Employers are not obligated to pay mothers on maternity leave, although some do. Mothers who have made sufficient social insurance contributions are entitled to a government maternity benefit. The mother may also take an additional 16 weeks of leave without the maternity benefit after the 26 paid weeks. Fathers receive two weeks of paternity leave, which must be taken within six months of the baby’s birth. Employers are not obligated to pay the employee during this leave, but the employee may be eligible for a government paternity benefit payment.

Ireland has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common but not required.

Employees receive 20 days of leave in Ireland.

In Ireland, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • St. Patrick's Day

  • Easter Monday

  • May Day

  • June Bank Holiday

  • August Bank Holiday

  • October Bank Holiday

  • Christmas Day

  • St. Stephen's Day

  • St. Brigid’s Day

Ireland has national healthcare for residents. Many people also purchase private health insurance.

Employers must give notice before terminating an employee in Ireland if the employer has worked for the employer for more than 13 weeks. Either the employer or the employee may terminate an employment contract without notice because of misconduct by the other party. An employee who is terminated for a reason other than redundancy may request the reason for dismissal and must be provided with a written statement of the reason within 14 days.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Ireland can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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