Hire and manage employees in Ireland
Hiring in Ireland? Rippling can help your company grow globally without missing a beat—with or without your own entity. Rippling handles onboarding, automates payroll, and calculates and files taxes, all while helping you stay compliant with local laws.
Avg Time to Hiring
Less than 5 minutes
Hire, manage, and pay employees
in Ireland with Rippling
Onboard full-time employees and contractors in Ireland in 90 seconds
Set up new hires in Ireland with everything they need, from country-specific trainings to 3rd-party apps like Slack.
Pay your Irish team in Euros—in minutes
Pay all of your employees and contractors around the world without waiting on transfers or conversions.
Manage HR, IT, and Finance in one system
Juggling multiple systems for your team? That creates silos and busy work. Rippling does it all—in a single system.
Automate your HR compliance work
Understanding and complying with Irish laws is hard work. Rippling does it for you.
The essential guide to hiring in Ireland
Finding the right talent can unlock your team’s success—but when you expand your team globally, hiring becomes increasingly complex.
If you’re hiring in Ireland for the first time, the process might sound complicated and time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Ireland’s employment laws and regulations. But in our guide, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about the hiring process, Irish labor laws, correct classification of your Irish employees, and much more.
Employer of Record (EOR) vs. entity
To start, you need to decide if you’d like to set up your own legal entity or hire your Irish employees through an EOR.
- Irish EOR. An EOR is an external service provider that acts as an employer on behalf of the company, eliminating the need to establish your own entity. With an EOR, you can hire full-time Irish employees and they’ll handle all the legal requirements for complying with Irish laws for payroll, contracts, and benefits. EOR services encompass a range of tasks including calculating and withholding taxes, onboarding and managing employees, and payroll administration.
- Legal entity in Ireland. Establishing a legal entity from the ground up usually requires registration with local authorities, appointing an EEA Director, and seeking guidance from local experts to ensure compliance with tax and labor regulations.
Deciding between an EOR and setting up your own entity will depend on your company’s resources, size, and how you plan to scale. Here are the advantages and disadvantages:
Cost and implementation
Less time-consuming to set up.
You can start hiring within days instead of months.
Becomes costlier as your headcount increases.
Takes time, paperwork, and money to set up—amd requires nominating an EEA Director and having an Irish office address.
More cost-effective once you've hired enough employees in a foreign country.
Quickly set up new hires, often within 1-14 days, depending on the provider.
Supports large-scale expansion in a new market.
Manages all of your compliance work for you, takes on liability, and provides localized employment contracts.
Can't tailor certain policies, and other HR/legal processes, to the needs of your business.
Requires expert knowledge of local laws and tax regulations and internal legal resources, as your company is liable for all legal and compliance infractions.
Can tailor certain policies, and other HR/legal processes, to the needs of your business.
Payroll & Benefits
Quickly pay and insure employees around the world.
Taxes are filed for you.
Must manually keep track of statutory deductions and employee entitlements for every hire.
After choosing an EOR, you can start the onboarding process by collecting your employee’s information (including name, date of birth, date of hire, contact, and bank information).
To thoroughly understand the steps of hiring through an EOR in Ireland, and learn how Rippling can help you hire and onboard Irish employees in 90 seconds, see our guide.
Classifying Ireland workers: employees vs. contractors
An essential aspect in the early stages of hiring is understanding how to correctly classify workers, so as not to rack up fines and penalties.
Ireland has different definitions for “employees” and “independent contractors.” Here’s a primer on how Irish labour law distinguishes between contractors and employees:
High level of worker control. Contractors are generally given more autonomy to determine how to complete the work and when to do it.
More direction from the employer. Employees are generally subject to more control and direction from their employer, who will provide guidance on how to perform the work and may set specific hours of work.
Equipment and tools are owned by the worker.
Equipment and tools are typically provided by the company.
Less integrated. Contractors tend to be independent, they’re more likely to work remotely, and they use their own tools and equipment.
Highly integrated. Employees are typically more integrated into the employer's organization. For instance, they may work at the employer's premises.
No entitlement to benefits. Contractors are not entitled to the same benefits, leave entitlements, and protections as employees. They’re responsible for paying their own taxes.
Entitled to benefits. Employees are entitled to certain employment benefits and protections, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and vacation pay. They may also be entitled to benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid sick leave.
Time-bound engagement. Contractors are typically engaged for a specific project or period of time.
Indefinite engagement. Employees are generally hired for an indefinite period of time.
Risk of loss. Contractors may assume more risk and liability for the work they perform.
No risk of loss. Employees are generally protected from liability for work-related issues.
Non-exclusive services. Contractors cannot be contractually bound to a single company; they can provide their services to more than one organization.
Exclusive services. Employees can be contractually bound to provide services to just one company.
Subcontracting. Contractors can delegate work to be performed by another person or business.
No subcontracting. Employees are expected to do their work themselves. They can’t delegate responsibilities to subcontractors without company approval.
Want help keeping compliant with Irish labor and employment laws? You can better understand worker classification with our Ireland misclassification guide.
Work permits for Ireland employees
Before proceeding with the hiring process, you must ensure your new employee is allowed to work in Ireland. Hiring employees without proper work authorization in Ireland is illegal, and both you and your new team member may be subject to penalties, which include fines and serious prison time (up to 10 years for employers).
There are two main work permits in Ireland:
- Critical Skills Employment Permits. For employees whose skills are in short supply in Ireland. You can find a Critical Skills Occupations List with the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment to determine whether their job falls into this category.
- General Employment Permits. Open to anyone applying for a job that isn’t on the Ineligible Occupations List and pays at least €30,000 per year.
For more information, like details on how to apply, see our guide to work permits in Ireland.
New hire onboarding checklist
After you’ve verified that your employee is legally allowed to work in Ireland, you’re ready to continue with onboarding. This is a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for a strong working relationship.
Tip: the onboarding experience goes beyond the employee’s first day—make sure you’re thinking beyond payroll and benefits. Keep these things in mind:
Pre day 1
- Complete a background check.
- Send offer letter (more on that below).
- Prepare for tax withholdings.
- Enroll them in benefits.
- Add them to payroll.
- Order and configure their devices.
- Schedule their orientation.
On day 1
- Make sure their workspace is ready.
- Send an email to welcome them.
- Give them an agenda.
- Schedule a meeting with their onboarding guide.
- Give a tour of the office.
During their first 90 days
- Schedule training.
- Assign their work and set goals.
- Schedule recurring check-ins.
- Seek feedback on how to improve the experience.
Want the complete onboarding checklist for Ireland? Check out our guide to new hire onboarding in Ireland.
What to include in an offer letter in Ireland
Offer letters (also known as employment agreements) are essential in hiring. Here are the basics of what to include in an offer letter:
- Position, job description, and job duties
- Start date and hours of work
- Probationary period
- Compensation and benefits
- Vacation policy
- Payment frequency
- Termination policy
- Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
- Contact information
- Parallel employment conditions
From probation period to vacation time, get a full checklist with our guide to sending a legally compliant offer letter.
NDAs and confidentiality agreements in Ireland
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are commonly included in employment contracts to ensure confidentiality. These agreements should clearly state the full names of all parties involved, provide a comprehensive description of the confidential information that must not be disclosed, outline specific circumstances under which the NDA may become void, and establish provisions for upholding confidentiality even after an employee's termination. The NDA should also specify the remedies that are available to the parties in the event of a breach of the NDA. In Ireland, a breach of an NDA can result in damages, injunctive relief, and even criminal prosecution.
In Ireland, an NDA can protect:
- Original ideas
- Trade secrets
- Customer information
- Business plans
Learn more about the different types of NDAs and their essential components in our guide to NDAs in Ireland.
Running background checks on Irish employees
It’s natural to feel urgent about filling a position quickly, but don’t overlook the importance of a background check during onboarding. Some professions don’t require background checks in Ireland, but the following do:
- Roles in which an individual makes strategic choices involving large sums of money
- Roles that work with children or safeguard people
- Anyone working with money (e.g. financial advisors, accountants)
- Jobs in healthcare
- Roles that come into contact with physically harmful substances
- Roles in food manufacturing
If you want to learn more about background checks, including what’s illegal, see our guide to background checks in Ireland.
Paying employees in Ireland
After deciding between an EOR or your own entity, you need to pick a payroll solution. There are two kinds of international payroll solutions: global payroll processors and global payroll aggregators. Read more about them in our guide.
After selecting a payroll solution:
- Verify that your employees are correctly classified.
- Gather their details, like full name, date of birth, contact information, and bank details.
- Enter the payment amount in EUR, unless you have written consent from the employee to pay them in a different currency.
- Ensure compliance with statutory obligations when calculating deductions in payroll.
- Process payroll.
Mandatory employee benefits in Ireland
Employment law in Ireland provides employees with a comprehensive range of rights and protections in the workplace, including entitlement to various statutory benefits. This intricate legal framework comprises multiple Acts and Orders that continue to be updated and revised.
Mandatory benefits include:
- Pension plans/retirement contributions. Employers are not legally required to provide a pension plan but must offer access to at least one Standard PRSA; employers may contribute to PRSAs but are not obligated to.
- Workers’ compensation insurance. Companies must have workers' compensation insurance to cover lost wages and medical expenses in case of work-related injuries or illnesses.
- Paid sick leave. Under the new Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) scheme, employees are entitled to three paid sick days per year, with increasing entitlement in subsequent years.
- Parental leave. Employers must grant seven weeks of leave to employees who give birth or adopt—this includes maternity and paternity leave.
- Paid annual leave. All employees are entitled to a statutory minimum of 20 days of paid annual leave per year, excluding public or bank holidays.
- Bank holidays. There are 10 paid bank holidays in Ireland, including a new one added in 2023.
The specific benefits that you offer will depend on your company's budget and culture. However, it is important to offer a competitive benefits package in order to attract and retain top talent in Ireland. To learn how to go above and beyond when offering benefits (like private health insurance) to your Irish employees, read our full guide on meeting statutory requirements.
Managing remote employees’ computers and apps
Employees need to be set up with all the apps, tools, and integrations used by your company. With Rippling, you can:
- Swiftly set up and secure employees’ accounts, ensuring employees have the access and permissions they need.
- Create a single place to set up, manage, and disable all employee apps—like Google Workspace and Slack.
In our guide, you can learn more about setting up and managing remote employee devices.
Protecting company IP in Ireland
It is essential to safeguard your intellectual property (IP) rights, preventing others from exploiting your ideas, inventions, trademarks, and other creative works for their own economic benefit.
The Irish government has established its own IP regulations, which are further governed by the laws of the European Union. Consequently, navigating the protection of your IP requires engaging with multiple agencies and authorities.
In Ireland, you can register patents, trademarks, and industrial designs with the Intellectual Property Office. Copyright protection is automatically granted upon creation, typically lasting for 70 years after the creator's death. However, there are exceptions for certain works:
- Database rights are valid for 15 years from the date of completion.
- Sound recordings created before November 1, 2013, are protected for 50 from their creation or public availability. Recordings made after this date are protected for 70 years.
- Broadcasts are protected for 50 years from the first transmission.
- TV shows or cable programs are protected for 50 years from their public debut.
In our beginner’s guide to IP ownership and rights in Ireland, you can learn more about intellectual property protections.
Complying with Ireland labor laws
Irish employment law is a maze of Acts, Codes, and other regulations to protect employee rights. Learn about the most important regulations to keep in mind when hiring in Ireland, from minimum wage to maternity leave, and be aware of the following:
- At-will employment is not recognized, and terminating an employee without providing a valid reason and appropriate notice period after their first 12 months of employment can be deemed unfair dismissal, potentially leading to legal consequences.
- Workers have the constitutional right to join or leave a trade union of their choice, and employment laws safeguard them against dismissal or discrimination based on their trade union activities; additionally, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions ensures the confidentiality of member information and handles various aspects of trade union activities, including memberships, campaigns, and collective bargaining.
- Caregivers who are responsible for the full-time care of a dependent person are entitled to Carer's Leave, a temporary and unpaid leave program that allows them to take a minimum of 13 weeks and up to a maximum of 104 weeks of leave, during which their employer must keep their position open for their return.
Terminating employees in Ireland
In Ireland, employees are safeguarded against unjustifiable or abrupt terminations through a stringent labour code, and failure to comply with minimum notice periods and payment obligations, or provide valid justifications for dismissal can result in legal consequences such as wrongful dismissal claims and penalties imposed by Irish courts.
Below are the statutory minimum notice periods for Irish employees:
Minimum notice period
13 weeks to two years
2 to 5 years
5 to 10 years
10 to 15 years
Over 15 years
If you fail to adhere to the statutory minimum notice periods or pay requirements, or you are unable to prove your decision was justified, you could be subject to a wrongful dismissal claim and penalties in Irish courts. To learn more about handling terminations in Ireland, from just case to severance pay, see our full guide to terminations in Ireland.
Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.