Country profile

Ireland

Capital
Dublin
Public holidays
9
Minimum Salary
€11.30 per hour
Currency
EUR
About country
Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, which was signed into law on April 4, 2023, gives all employees the right to request remote working. To be eligible, employees must have at least 6 months’ continuous service with their employer and must submit the request at least 8 weeks before the date they intend to start the new arrangement.

Once the request is received, the employer must consider it in good faith and give a decision within 3 weeks. The employer can only refuse the request for a limited number of reasons, such as if the remote working arrangement would be detrimental to the business or if the employee’s role cannot be performed remotely.

If the employer refuses the request, the employee can appeal to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The WRC will consider the request and make a decision on whether or not to uphold it.

The remote work policy is designed to give employees more flexibility and control over their work arrangements. It also aims to help employers attract and retain top talent in a competitive market.

Here are some key points of the remote work policy in Ireland:

  • Employees have the right to request remote working after 6 months of continuous service.
  • Employers must consider requests in good faith and give a decision within 3 weeks.
  • Employers can only refuse requests for limited reasons, such as if it would be detrimental to the business or if the role cannot be performed remotely.
  • Employees can appeal refusals to the WRC.

The remote work policy is a significant step forward for Ireland in terms of workplace flexibility. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of the policy and to work together to make it a success.

 

Misclassification of Employment

In Ireland, there is no specific definition of an “employee.” Instead, there are certain criteria and characteristics that are used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

Some of the key factors that are considered in determining employment status include:

    • The level of control that the employer has over the worker.
    • The degree of financial risk that the worker bears.
    • The worker’s freedom to set their own hours and work location.
    • Whether the worker is part of the employer’s workforce or is self-employed.

 

If an employer misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor when they are actually an employee, they may be liable for a number of penalties. These penalties can include:

    • Backpay for unpaid wages and benefits.
    • Interest on unpaid wages and benefits.
    • Penalties from the Revenue Commissioners.
    • Criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between employees and independent contractors in Ireland:

Characteristic Employee Independent Contractor
Level of control The employer has a high degree of control over the worker’s work. The worker has a high degree of control over their work.
Financial risk The employer bears the financial risk of the worker’s work. The worker bears the financial risk of their work.
Freedom to set hours and work location The worker is not free to set their own hours or work location. The worker is free to set their own hours and work location.
Part of the employer’s workforce The worker is considered to be part of the employer’s workforce. The worker is not considered to be part of the employer’s workforce.

It is important for employers to carefully consider the factors that determine employment status when classifying their workers. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors can result in significant penalties for employers.

The fines and penalties for misclassification of employees in Ireland can be quite significant. Here are some of the potential penalties that an employer may face if they are found to have misclassified their employees:

  • Backpay for unpaid wages and benefits: The employer may be liable for backpay for all wages and benefits that were not paid to the employee when they were misclassified as an independent contractor. This includes things like minimum wage, overtime pay, sick pay, vacation pay, and health insurance.
  • Interest on unpaid wages and benefits: The employer may also be liable for interest on unpaid wages and benefits. This interest is calculated at the prevailing commercial rate.
  • Penalties from the Revenue Commissioners: The Revenue Commissioners may impose penalties on employers who misclassify their employees. These penalties can be up to 150% of the amount of unpaid taxes.
  • Criminal penalties: In some cases, misclassification of employees may be considered a criminal offense. If an employer is convicted of this offense, they may face fines of up to €250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

In addition to these penalties, employers who misclassify their employees may also face reputational damage. If it is found that an employer has been misclassifying their employees, it could damage the employer’s reputation with customers, investors, and employees. It could also make it more difficult for the employer to attract and retain qualified employees in the future.

It is important for employers to carefully consider the factors that determine employment status when classifying their workers. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors can result in significant penalties for employers. If you are unsure about whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, you should consult with an employment lawyer.

 

Social Security contributions for self-employed

Here is a breakdown of the social security costs of being self-employed in Ireland:

  • PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance): Self-employed workers in Ireland pay PRSI, which is a social insurance scheme that provides benefits such as pensions, unemployment benefits, and sickness benefits. The rate of PRSI for self-employed workers is 4% of their gross income. However, there is a minimum contribution of €500 per year.
  • USC (Universal Social Charge): Self-employed workers in Ireland also pay USC, which is a tax that is used to fund a range of government services. The rate of USC for self-employed workers is 4% of their income above €13,000.

 

Social Security contributions for employees

The social security rates for employees in Ireland are as follows:

  • PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance): Employees in Ireland pay PRSI, which is a social insurance scheme that provides benefits such as pensions, unemployment benefits, and sickness benefits. The rate of PRSI for employees is 4% of their gross income. However, there is a minimum contribution of €500 per year.
  • USC (Universal Social Charge): Employees in Ireland also pay USC, which is a tax that is used to fund a range of government services. The rate of USC for employees is 4% of their income above €13,000.

The social security contributions for both self-employed and employees are the same.

Social Security contributions costs for the employer

The cost to the employer for social security contributions in Ireland is as follows:

  • PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance): Employers in Ireland pay PRSI, which is a social insurance scheme that provides benefits such as pensions, unemployment benefits, and sickness benefits. The rate of PRSI for employers is 8.8% of the employee’s gross earnings up to €441 per week. For earnings above €441 per week, the rate is 11.05%.
  • USC (Universal Social Charge): Employers in Ireland also pay USC, which is a tax that is used to fund a range of government services. The rate of USC for employers is 1.5% of the employee’s gross earnings.

In addition to PRSI and USC, employers in Ireland may also need to pay additional social security contributions, such as:

  • Non-Resident PRSI: Non-Resident PRSI is a scheme for employers who employ non-resident workers. The rate of Non-Resident PRSI is 8% of the employee’s gross earnings.

The total social security costs for employers in Ireland can vary depending on the individual’s income and the type of work they do. However, the average employer in Ireland can expect to pay around €10,000 per year in social security contributions.

Income tax rates in Ireland

The income tax payments in Ireland for 2023 are based on a progressive tax scale, with rates ranging from 20% to 40%. The amount of tax you pay will depend on your taxable income, which is your total income minus certain deductions and allowances.

Here is a table that shows the income tax rates in Ireland for 2023:

Taxable income Tax rate
Up to €35,300 20%
€35,301 to €70,650 40%
Above €70,650 40%

In addition to the progressive tax scale, there are also a number of deductions and allowances that you can claim to reduce your taxable income. Some of the most common deductions and allowances include:

  • Personal allowance: This is a fixed amount that everyone can claim, regardless of their income. The personal allowance for 2023 is €13,000.
  • Dependents: You can claim a deduction for each dependent child or relative that you support. The deduction for each dependent child is €1,850.
  • Rent: If you rent your home, you can claim a deduction for the rent that you pay. The deduction is limited to 10% of your taxable income.
  • Work expenses: If you incur expenses in the course of your work, you may be able to claim a deduction for these expenses. Some common work expenses include travel expenses, professional fees, and clothing expenses.

Costs
Average living costs in Ireland
  • Cost of a one bedroom apartment/house

    Dublin €2,700
    Galway: €2,000
    Cork: €1,800
    Limerick: €1,500
    Waterford: €1,300
    Letterkenny: €1,000

  • Meal in a restaurant for two people

    Dublin: €50-70
    Galway: €40-60
    Cork: €45-65
    Limerick: €35-€55
    Waterford: €30-50
    Letterkenny: €25-45

  • Gym Membership

    Dublin: €60
    Galway: €50
    Cork: €50
    Limerick: €50
    Waterford: €50
    Letterkenny: €45

     

Holidays
  1. New Year's Day 1st January
  2. Saint Brigid's Day / Imbolc 1st February or first Monday
  3. Saint Patrick's Day 17th March
  4. Easter Monday 10th April 2023
  5. May Day, First Monday of May
  6. June Holiday, First Monday in June
  7. August Holiday, First Monday in August
  8. October Holiday, Last Monday in October
  9. Christmas Day 25th December
  10. Saint Stephen's Day 26th December
Employment Classification
Details
Essential information
  • Social Security
  • Employer Social Security
    8.8% - 11.05%
  • Population
    5,096,394
  • Minimum vacation days
    20 days
  • Time zone
    GMT
Hire an employee in Ireland