Changes to the employment permit systems announced

01 Nov 2021

The Government has announced several changes to the employment permits system for workers outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Almost all occupations in the construction sector are now eligible for a General Employment Permit;  HGV drivers recruited from outside the EEA will be eligible for an employment permit without the limitation of a quota; 350 General Employment Permits will be made available for hospitality managers; a number of additional permit quotas will be introduced in the agri-food and agricultural sectors; and Social Workers will now be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit (they were made eligible for a General Employment Permit in June).

This announcement comes after a review by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

In Ireland’s employment permits system, occupations fall into three categories; Critical Skills Occupations List (highly skilled professional roles not always available in the resident labour force), ineligible occupations (those with evidence that there are enough Irish/EEA workers to fill vacancies) and all other jobs in the labour market, where an employer cannot find a worker, which are eligible for a General Employment Permit (GEP).

For more information, see:

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment press release

For a discussion of the employment permits system see: EMN Ireland Report: Determining Labour and Skills Shortages and the Need for Labour Migration in Ireland (2015)