The Employment Permit Bill 2022 Overview and Changes

employment permit bill 2022

Damien English, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail has introduced the ‘Employment Permits Bill 2022’. The aim of this new Employment Permit Bill is to enable legislative change to the current Employment Permit system in Ireland and to help modernise and allow for a more streamlined and efficient approach to the current system.

‘The main purpose of the Bill is to consolidate the legislative framework concerning employment permits as currently set out in the Employment Permits Acts 2003 and 2006 (as amended), which will be repealed. It also introduces certain changes, which are intended to modernise the employment permits system and increase its responsiveness’[1].

The key changes and main Provisions of the Bill include:

  • The introduction of a seasonal employment permit.
  • Legislative changes which will enable and facilitate third party contracts (subcontractors) to avail of the employment permits system.
  • A revision of the labour market needs test in its current form to make it more relevant and efficient.
  • Moving of operational criteria to Regulations, and the streamlining of a number of requirements to make the grant process more efficient.
  • Introduction of an automatic indexation of salary thresholds.
  • Providing for additional conditions for the grant of an employment permit, such as training or accommodation support for migrant workers in some circumstances, or making innovation or upskilling a condition of grant, where this may decrease future reliance on economic migration.

The changes within the Employment Permit Bill 2022 will allow for a more apt and flexible Employment permit system that can more easily meet the demands of the labour needs and skills shortage in Ireland, whilst also maintaining the core legal framework of the current system.

The changes come afoot of the recommendations made in the Review of Economic Migration Policy which was published by the Department of Enterprise and trade (formerly the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation) in 2018.

[1] Employment Permits Bill 2022, Bill No. 91 of 2022, Rebecca Halpin, Senior Parliamentary Researcher (Law)

Aoife Halligan, Senior Parliamentary Researcher (Economics), 10 October 2022

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