HR Consultancy Services in Ireland

IRIS HR Consulting has an excellent reputation for helping businesses succeed in Ireland. It can otherwise be risky to leave local laws and legislation open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in Ireland to help businesses hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas. As a popular destination for businesses, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this exciting European marketplace.

Take your business to Ireland with the help of our specialist HR consultants at IRIS.

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    Global expansion in Ireland

    Over the years, Ireland has established itself as an investment destination. To this day, thousands of multinationals have established themselves in this increasingly profitable market. This is likely explained as Ireland has become desirable to investors with its favourable business climate. This high desirability is a result of its skilled and diverse labour, the adaptability of this workforce, and other investment incentives, such as low tax rates for corporations.

    With a workforce that’s young, educated and generally English-speaking, Ireland is known for attracting multinationals to enjoy from its labour market. With a generous funding scheme,  Enterprise Ireland has a £10m fund that supports foreign start-ups and expansions. This programme can accelerate other investment for your business, but otherwise demonstrates the opportunity for foreign business in Ireland.

    A Guide to Employing Staff in Ireland

    Everything you need to know about the employment laws and compliance requirements in this country


    Establishing your business in Ireland

    Though it can feel like an unfamiliar process, setting up a business in Ireland, with the proper guidance, requires strategy, investment, understanding of local business culture and a business plan.

    Consider the following when establishing your new business in Ireland:

    • By working with either a company formation agent or a lawyer, a new company will need to establish its by-laws. These are outlined to detail the business types and its objectives.
    • Determine the location. Cork, Galway, Limerick are all well-known locations. But wisely research your destination, before investing into it.
    • Establish a company structure, which could be any of the following: Private Limited Company (LTD); Public Limited Company (PLC); or a Partnership.
    • Register with the CRO (Companies Registration Office).
    • Set-up your company financials with a local Irish bank.
    • In Ireland, all companies must acquire a company seal (which will be used to stamp documents).
    • Register taxes with the Revenue Commissioners.

    Irish Employment Law

    When first expanding your business into Ireland, navigating employment laws and remaining compliant is never easy. These laws are not always universal. Rather, employment is protected in local policies and this is constantly shifting.

    Irish employment law is largely governed by statute law, European Community law, the common law, and the Irish Constitution. Judgements and decisions pertaining to UK case law also have been known to have persuasive authority.

    Hiring & Recruitment in Ireland  

    The relationship between an employee and an employer in Ireland is strictly governed by contract law. This describe where a contract will outline all expectations (performance or otherwise) and benefits of an employment agreement.

    Work Visas in Ireland

    For individuals outside of the EU/ EEA, Ireland can be strict about issuing work permits. This most often the case where there is a shortage of labour and a demand for highly skilled talent. A job offer must first be made before a prospective employee can apply for a visa.

    For professionals outside of Europe looking to legally work in Ireland, there are several types of work permits, including:

    • Critical skills employment permit
    • Reactivation permit
    • Working holiday visa
    • Intra-company transfer permit
    • Spouse permit

    Employment Contracts in Ireland

    The details captured in an employment contract are determined through negotiations between both parties (employees and the employed). This frees up the parties to nominate the terms and conditions of employment and bind these legally in a contract.

    Once a migrant worker is employed in Ireland, however, they are covered by the basic, or minimum, statutory employment protections.

    Equal Opportunities in Ireland

    In Ireland, all companies are encouraged to organise for equality within the workplace culture. This applies from the foundations of employment, through the tenure of a employee’s service, and ends with their departure from the company.

    What are the Working Hours in Ireland?

    Generally, the local culture of Ireland favours socialising and time away from the office (where applicable). Therefore, the standard working hours run from 9:00 until 17:30. An hour for lunch is usually given between 12:00 and 14:00 (even Government departments are closed during these two hours).

    The average working week in Ireland is 39 hours with a legal threshold of 48 hours maximum, which is calculated over a reference period of 4 months.

    Working Overtime in Ireland

    The Organisation of Working Time Act (1997) stipulates that the maximum average working week cannot break the 48 hours threshold. This doesn’t, however, mean that a working week cannot go above this threshold, but rather that it must be averaged out to meet it.

    Sick Leave in Ireland

    Generally, there is no universal legal benefit entitling employees to paid sick leave in Ireland. However, most employees will outline some kind of benefit in the employment contract and so paid leave can be a new policy picked up by businesses. Any sick leave policy, or businesses without one, should notify their employees.

    For employees with enough contributions to PRSI, there is an Illness Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).

    Maternity Leave in Ireland

    Maternity benefit in Ireland is normally 26 weeks (or 156 days). This covers 6-days a week, from Monday to Saturday (where Sunday is not usually covered from this benefit).

    The employee must take the benefit at least 2 weeks prior to the birth of a child, leaving the remaining allowance (out of 26 weeks) to take thereafter. This benefit should be negotiated with the employer. 

    Vacation in Ireland

    Basic (paid) annual leave in Ireland is set at 4 weeks. This is earnable for employee’s who have worked at least 1,365 hours annually. Public holidays are considered paid rest days and are additional time off. The exact paid vacation duration should be captured in an employment contract and this will help manage employee’s expectations.

    Public Holidays in Ireland

    Ireland recognises, and celebrates, 9 national public holidays, which are sometimes referred to as “bank holidays”. Often during these days, businesses and schools are shut. These include:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Saint Patrick’s Day
    • Easter Monday
    • First Monday in May
    • First Monday in June
    • First Monday in August
    • Last Monday in October
    • Christmas Day
    • Saint Stephen’s Day

    Retirement & Pension in Ireland

    Most major operators in Ireland operate some kind of (private) pension scheme. The alternative, a state pension (sometimes called the “old age pension”) is a contributory scheme, where employees can access benefits from the age of 66 and after making enough PRSI contributions. Often pension schemes in Ireland are contributory, meaning employee’s invest in their ow standard of living in retirement.

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    End of Service

    HR in Ireland means being compliant not only during an employee’s service, but also at the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. Or, for globally mobile companies with international teams, this could be repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.

    For these more complicated matters, you will need expert HR guidance in order to navigate Irish employment laws and remain compliant.

    Termination/Severance in Ireland

    The WRC (or the Workplace Relations Commission) carries out the formal objective of handling disputes and complaints in the workforce, encouraged through constructive dialogue. These can be catagorised accordingly:

    • Those complaints or disputes related to satutory rights (such as rest breaks, or working hours).
    • Any dispute resulting from conflicting interests.

    The WRC handles the lifecycle of a workplace dispute, from receival of a complaint to resolution and post-dispute relations.

    Labour Courts

    Whilst the WRC is the most common venue for the majority of employment-related disputes and claims, Ireland’s Labour Court will, in certain scenarios, adjudicate these disputes.

    Appeals to the WRC’s outcomes can be submitted to the Labour Court.


    Social security (PRSI)

    Ireland operates a Pay Related Social Insurance system (PRSI). PRSI is paid by all employees and self-employed people who earn a minimum annual income and who are aged 16 or over, with very few exceptions

    Social Welfare in Ireland

    This system, regarding the social welfare of the populace, can be split three ways:

    • Social insurance

    This payment is a contributory scheme, where people must offer up social insurance instalments, or PRSI.

    • Means-tested

    Designed as a kind of loose alternative to social insurance, means-tested payments are for those who fall behind on the PRSI contributions to qualify for the social insurance scheme.

    • Universal

    Universal payments can be cashed regardless of an employees’ income or social insurance contribution. Once certain personal circumstances are met, an employee can become entitled to this benefit. An example of a universal payment is Child Benefit.

    Workers Compensation in Ireland

    The Department of Social Protection operates the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme. This scheme provides several benefits for individuals who are either injured or incapacitated by an accident at work or while travelling directly to or from work.

    Supplemental Benefits in Ireland

    • Occupational Pension.

    It is mandatory for employers to provide employees with access to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) pension plan if they do not provide an Occupational Pension Scheme which all employees (including full time, part time, seasonal, temporary, contract or casual employees) are eligible to join within 6 months of starting employment.

    • Health Insurance.

    Around 85% of employers in Ireland provide PMI although the level of cover can vary. Of these around 68% provide cover for the employee, spouse and dependants.

    • Life Insurance.

    Life insurance in the form of a lump sum payment if the employee dies whilst employed by the Company, is usual in Ireland.  These payments vary from 2 to 4 x annual basic salary and are typically paid to spouses only. 

    • Income Protection.

    It is becoming increasingly common for Employers to offer an Occupational Long-Term Disability or Income Protection Benefit, especially for non-manual workers.

    Why Partner With IRIS?

    When entering new, exciting countries like Ireland, you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of local laws that are mandatory and those that are not. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protection through us.

    Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully complaint solution, IRIS can help businesses establish a foreign branch in Ireland without the hassle.

    Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in Ireland makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.