What is the change? A report by the Inter-Departmental Group Review of Economic Migration Policy recommends several changes to Ireland’s employment permit regime.

What does the change mean? Among the recommendations is the introduction of a seasonal employment permit to fill labor shortages and a more responsive system for allowing employment permits to be issued for occupations with skills shortages. Under the current system, the government conducts a review of the list of highly skilled and ineligible occupations twice a year.

  • Implementation time frame: Estimated 2018-2019 for short- to medium-term recommendations and 2019-2020 for long-term recommendations requiring amendment by primary legislation.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment permits, seasonal employment permits.
  • Business impact: The recommendations would assist the seasonal worker sector, provide businesses more flexibility and allow the government to respond more quickly to changing labor market demands.

Additional recommendations: The report proposed a new process for reviewing the highly skilled and ineligible occupations lists. Currently, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation conducts a twice-yearly review of the two lists, largely based on industry research, sectoral reports and public consultation. The new approach, if approved, would allow various government departments to take the lead in proposing changes to the occupations lists for industries where a particular department has clear lead policy responsibility. The idea of creating a positive “eligible occupations” list was also put forward.

The report also details, among other things, potential changes to the following areas:

  • 50:50 rule waivers – Extending a waiver of the 50:50 rule—which requires that at least 50 percent of employees must be EEA nationals before an employment permit is issued—to certain situations involving sole operators and startup companies.
  • Labor market testing – Extending the EEA-wide advertising period from two weeks to four weeks.
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) remuneration thresholds – Increasing the current lower and upper thresholds by 6.7 percent to €32,000 (highly skilled job plus relevant degree) and €64,000 (any eligible role plus work experience only), respectively.
  • New CSEP subcategory – Creating an intermediary CSEP category, with a minimum salary threshold set between €30,000 and €60,000, for occupations on the highly skilled list, where the worker has relevant experience but no relevant third-level degree.
  • Dependents’ right to work – Extending the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit to dependents of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit holders.
  • Seasonal Employment Permit – Introducing a mechanism for short-term non-EEA workers in lower-skilled seasonal occupations.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.