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Changes in employment permit legislation to ‘modernise the system’

1 Nov 2019

New legislation has been proposed to ‘increase the responsiveness of Ireland’s economic migration system to meet skills and labour needs’.

Today (1 November) Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, published a new bill proposing changes to the system of employment permits.

The General Scheme of the Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019 has been created in an effort to make the system more agile and easier to modify. According to the department, this will allow the Irish government to meet changing economic circumstances and to keep pace with technological and process changes as they arise.

Commenting on the bill’s publication, Humphreys said: “The proposed legislation will increase the agility and responsiveness of Ireland’s economic migration system to meet skills and labour needs, while continuing to safeguard the labour market and support the employment rights of permit holders.

“I want to modernise the system and ensure that it is capable of adapting to changes in the future as well as fluctuations in demand across the economic cycle.”

The Minister also intends to introduce a special circumstances employment permit and a seasonal employment permit. The purpose of the former would be to address demands for unusual but critical skillsets for which no formal training is available in Ireland.

Plans for the seasonal permit include catering to short-stay and recurrent employment in sectors such as horticulture, farming and tourism.

As well as addressing recommended revisions, the department said that the new bill will strengthen Ireland’s economic migration system in terms of operational issues. These include streamlining the application process for trusted partners and renewals, allowing refunds of fees where the employment permit can’t be taken up in certain circumstances, and simplifying the system to make it easier for users to navigate.

The Minister will be consulting with stakeholders on the proposals prior to the finalisation of the drafting process.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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