We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. Click OK to use our website.

Submissions sought for updated work permit law

06 Dec 2019 / employment Print

Submissions sought for updated work permit law

A public consultation has been launched on the Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill, with a closing date of 17 January.

Business minister Heather Humphreys has said that a review of economic migration policy last year concluded that, while the work-permits system provides a robust framework to supplement skills and labour needs, the current legislation is inflexible.



To make sure that the system is capable of adapting to rapid changes in labour-market needs, and to fluctuation in demand contingent on the economic cycle, the review recommended new laws amending previous legislation

The General Scheme of the Bill incorporates both specific and general recommendations of the review, while retaining the core focus of a vacancy-led employment-permits system.

No change in policy 

However, the minister says there is no change in overall Government policy.

The measures include:

  • The introduction of a seasonal employment permit,
  • Extensive revision of the labour-market needs test to make it more relevant and efficient,
  • The introduction of a scheme to deal with occasional, exceptional circumstances where an employment permit may be granted, despite not meeting all of the criteria,
  • Housekeeping changes, to include clarifications of particular provisions, and streamlining to make the grant process more efficient, and


Additional conditions for an employment permit, such as training or accommodation support for migrant workers, or making innovation or upskilling a condition of grant, where this may decrease future reliance on economic migration.

Submissions are invited from stakeholders during the six-week consultation process, which will be used to shape the draft legislation, to be published in early summer.

Responses to the consultation should be returned, by e-mail, with ‘Consultation on General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill’ in the subject line to empu@dbei.gov.ie, or by post to Economic Migration Policy Unit, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2.

Queries about the consultation can be emailed to empu@dbei.gov.ie.

Responses to the consultation on the scheme of the proposed bill will be published on the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation website, except where confidentiality is requested.


Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland