IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Irish labor authorities have clarified the definition of employment agencies and the distinction between agency staff and direct employees of a company for purposes of determining whether an agency qualifies as an employer and is thus eligible to apply for employment permits.
What does the change mean? If an employment contract provides for a foreign national to perform work or services for a person or entity other than the employment agency, the employment agency is not considered the employer and cannot apply for an employment permit for the worker.
Background: Employment agencies are governed by the Employment Agency Act 1971 and a registry of licensed employment agencies is maintained by the Workplace Relations Commission. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation clarified its policy in response to queries about when an employment agency is considered an employer for purposes of applying for employment permits. While the Employment Permits Act does not preclude an employment agency from applying for employment permits per se, if a foreign national is under a contract to work for a third party, the employment agency is not considered the employer.
BAL Analysis: The policy announcement is a welcome clarification in a complex area for employment agencies that provide staff, recruitment and human resources services, and the companies that use them.
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