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17 May 2022

Ifac urges employers in Tipperary to know the rules for employing non-EEA worker

2019 Review of the Agricultural Land Market

Agricultural land sales in 2019. Picture: File photograph via Pixabay

Ifac is reminding employers from farming, food and agribusiness to use the correct process when recruiting workers from outside the EU. 

Workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), UK or Switzerland, must have permission to work in Ireland. 

Head of HR and Payroll with ifac, Mary McDonagh, says that there is a necessity for workers from outside the EU, but the hiring process is different.  

"Current skills shortages in the agri-food sector are now forcing employers to look further afield when hiring. It's important to be aware that when recruiting employees from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), UK or Switzerland, they must have permission to work in Ireland," said Ms McDonagh. 

According to Ms McDonagh, non-EU workers must have an employment contract if they are to stay for 90 days or more. 

Exemptions may apply to some workers. 

Those recruited under the  Atypical Working Scheme must hold a work permit if they are to do short term work. 

"All non-EEA workers coming to work in Ireland for more than 90 days must have a Contract of Employment. In addition, unless they are exempt, or are recruited under the Atypical Working Scheme, which allows non-EEA nationals to do certain short-term contract work, they must hold a valid Work Permit," said Ms McDonagh. 

Work permits are issued under the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment. There are nine types.

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit. A Critical Skills list, updated periodically, is available on the Department's website. At the time of writing, the list includes various skills involved in the manufacture and development of food and beverages.
  • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit 
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit 
  • General Employment Permit (At the time of writing, certain agricultural and related trades, food preparation, and hospitality trades are on the Department's list of ineligible occupations for employment permits)
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit
  • Reactivation Employment Permit 
  • Internship Employment Permit 
  • Sport and Cultural Employment Permit 
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit.

Employers must carry out a labour market needs test at least 28 days before the employee applies for a work permit. 

This involves advertising the role through the Department of Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least four weeks, local and national papers and jobs websites for three days. 

The prospective employee must be properly qualified, and the salary must be greater or equal o the minimum wage. 

"Your prospective employee must apply for their Employment Permit at least 12 weeks before their proposed start date. This is also the case when they are renewing their visa. Failure to apply on time could mean that they are not able to start work until they receive their permit," said Ms McDonagh. 

An application fee of €1,000 applies for roles with a duration of more than six months or €500 if the duration is less than six months for non-EEA workers.

The fee does not apply for applications submitted by non-EEA nationals who are married to (or in a civil partnership) with an EEA national. 

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