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New Employment Permits Regulations in Ireland

16 April 2019

The Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2019 ('the Regulations') will take effect from 22 April 2019. They will be a welcome relief in certain sectors struggling to fill roles with EEA citizens.

The Regulations will bring in changes to the Critical Skills Occupation List and the Ineligible List of Occupations. They also implement certain technical and procedural amendments.

The following occupations will be added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and will be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit from 22 April 2019:

  • Civil Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with BIM expertise
  • High Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations (where employment as a High Performance Director or Coach is in a national or high profile sports organisations engaging in international competition).

The following occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List and will be eligible for a General Employment Permit:

  • Sheet metal workers
  • Welding trades
  • Pipefitters
  • Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Engineers
  • Shuttering Carpenters
  • Glaziers, window fabricators & fitters
  • Scaffolders, stagers & riggers
  • Crane drivers
  • Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders; Cargo & Freight Agents; Brokerage Clerks) subject to a quota of 300
  • Plasterers subject to a quota of 250
  • Bricklayers subject to a quota of 250

Other amendments include changes to the documentation that has to be provided with an employment permit application to take account of changes brought in by the Revenue Commissioners PAYE Modernisation Initiative.

Other recent changes in the employment permit regime in Ireland include the announcement by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation that the spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders and Researchers under a Hosting Agreement will be able to access the Irish labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit. This will make Ireland an even more attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment.

The changes to both lists will have a big impact on the construction sector and those sectors impacted by Brexit who will have a need for more transport and logistics staff.

If you need assistance with any employment law or employment permit matters in Ireland please contact the Lewis Silkin Ireland team -

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