Employing in Ireland

The Irish pub is a symbol of warmth and hospitality across the world. And Ireland’s people are just as friendly and welcoming. Famed for its history, folklore and lively St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Ireland has plenty to offer — from metropolitan cities to lush green landscapes. Not forgetting a pint of Guinness or two…

The country also has one of the highest standards of living and one of the youngest populations in Europe. On top of that, English is widely spoken on the Emerald Isle (it’s the first language of the majority of the country), making it an ideal place for international businesses.

A thriving economy, good infrastructure, pro-business attitude and financial incentives like low corporate tax and tax credits have also seen Ireland emerge as an attractive location for overseas companies looking to expand globally. In fact, these favourable business conditions and Ireland’s well-connected geographical location mean an impressive number of multinational companies — including Apple, Facebook and Google — have already chosen to take advantage of the ‘luck of the Irish’ and set up their European homes in the country.

Country Guidelines

Statutory benefits


In Ireland, there’s only a requirement to pay employees’ salaries in 12 equal instalments.


Healthcare in Ireland is comprised of a public and private system.

Employees who are deemed ‘ordinarily resident’ in Ireland are entitled to receive healthcare through the public healthcare system, which is managed by the Health Service Executive and funded by general taxation and subsidised fees for service. All maternity services and childcare up to the age of six years are provided free of charge. Emergency care is provided at the cost of €100 for a visit to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department if one has not attended a GP first.

Medical cards — which entitle holders to free hospital care, GP visits, dental services, optical services, aural services, prescription drugs and medical appliances — are available to those receiving welfare payments, low earners, many retirees and in certain other cases. Individuals who are not entitled to a medical card (i.e., 68.1% of the population) must pay certain healthcare services fees.

TopSource Worldwide does not offer an occupational private healthcare scheme in Ireland but can facilitate reimbursement of a private healthcare package sourced directly by the employee from one of the private healthcare providers that are best matched to their own needs. This would be classed as a ‘benefit-in-kind’. Further information can be provided on request.

The main private healthcare providers are:

  • Vhi Healthcare (a statutory body and the largest provider of voluntary private health insurance in Ireland)
  • Laya Healthcare (formerly QUINN-healthcare)
  • Irish Life Health (formerly Aviva Health/GloHealth)

TopSource Worldwide doesn’t operate an occupational pension scheme. However, access is provided to a payroll deduction facility by way of a Personal Retirement Savings Account scheme (PRSA) which is provided through Zurich Life.

There’s no obligation for employers to contribute to this scheme, but they must make one available to employees.

Employer costs

Employers costs in Ireland cover:

  • Pay-related social insurance (PRSI) — PRSI applies to both employers and employees and is the primary source of funding for social welfare payments in Ireland
  • Universal social charge (USC) — a tax payable on an employee’s total income for employees and employers (total income for USC purposes includes things such as employment income, taxable employer benefits, self-employed income, rental income, share option gains, dividend income)

The rate payable is 11.05% (2020) of the total gross monthly salary and is payable directly to the Irish Tax & Customs.

Other provisions

Working hours

It’s customary for employees in Ireland to work 40 hours per week with a one-hour lunch break.

Employees are entitled to work breaks in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

All employees in Ireland are required to complete a monthly timesheet which must be authorised by the work-side employer (client).

Holiday entitlement

The holiday year of the company runs from January to December of each year.

Employees are entitled to 20 holiday days per annum, which is governed by Part III of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. All statutory entitlement has to be taken within the calendar year. This holiday entitlement is pro-rated for employees working part-time hours and for those who join mid-year. No more than 10 working days (two calendar weeks) can be taken together at any one time unless by prior written agreement.

Employees are required to book their holidays at least two weeks in advance of taking such holidays.

Entitlement to leave for public holidays is governed by the provisions of Part III of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997

Statutory/public holidays in Ireland 2021

Friday 1 January
New Year’s Day
Wednesday 17 March
St Patrick’s Day
Monday 5 April
Easter Monday
Monday 3 May
May Day
Monday 7 June
June Bank Holiday
Monday 2 August
August Bank Holiday
Monday 25 October
October Bank Holiday
Saturday 25 December
Christmas Day
Sunday 26 December
St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day

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