Changes to employment permits system announced

16 Jun 2021

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has announced changes to the employment permits system for workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

The occupation of Health Care Assistant has been removed from the ineligible occupation list. I; individuals must attain a relevant QQI Level 5 qualification after two years employment in the State and receive a minimum salary of €27,000. It is intended that this new framework will be reviewed after one year.

Dieticians are now eligible for Critical Skilled Employment Permits (CSEP). Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language therapists have also been removed from the ineligible occupations list.

Ireland operates a managed employment permit system through occupation lists, namely the critical skills and ineligible occupation lists, which are reviewed twice a year.

The Department stated that an occupation may be considered for inclusion on the critical skilled occupation list or removal from the ineligible lists provided that; shortages exists across the occupation, despite attempts by industry to train and there are no suitable Irish/EEA nationals available to undertake the work; development opportunities for Irish/EEA nationals are not undermined; genuine skills shortage exists and that it is not a recruitment or retention problem; the Government education, training, employment and economic development policies are supported.

Ineligible occupations are those for which the Department considers that there are more than enough Irish/EEA workers to fill vacancies. Employment permits are not granted for these occupations. Ineligible occupations are generally lower skilled occupations such as personal services and operatives.

For further information, see:

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment press release.