Employment permits – The Labour Market Needs test

With the Irish economy at almost full employment, there is the growing issue of skill shortages for some roles. Employers are once again looking to hire non-EEA nationals to fill that gap if they cannot find a suitably qualified Irish or EU employee to hire for that role.


For the General Employment Permit or the Contract for Services Employment Permit, employers must satisfy a Labour Market Needs Test prior to either permit type being issued to a non-EEA national.


How does an employer conduct a Labour Market Needs test?


The employer is required to advertise the vacancy with the following:

  • The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least 2 weeks
  • A national newspaper for at least 3 days
  • Either a local newspaper or jobs website (separate to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection/EURES websites) for 3 days.

Under the Employment Permits Act 2006, the vacancy must include the following information:

  • A description of the employment
  • The name of the employer
  • The minimum annual remuneration
  • The location/s of employment
  • The hours of work.

How can an employer advertise the vacancy with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Services and EURES


The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Employment Services network ensures that the vacancy receives national coverage and EURES (European Employment Services) ensures that the vacancy is advertised across the EU.


Employers can either log on to www.jobsireland.ie or www.welfare.ie and select the employer option. They have a number of self-help videos that take you through the steps for advertising vacancies which you can access here.  


Alternatively, employers/contractors can contact Jobsireland, National Contact Centre at LoCall 1890 800 024 or Tel. 01 248 1398 to register their vacancy by phone.


Once the vacancy is registered, employers will receive a reference number in relation to it.


An application for an employment permit can only be submitted when the Labour Market Needs Test has been completed. If you then apply for an employment permit, it must be submitted within 90 days from the date that the vacancy was on Jobsireland/EURES.


Do all applications for General or Contract for Services Employment Permits require a Labour Market Needs Test?


In general, yes. However, there are a few exceptions where the Labour Market Needs Test is not required:

  • Where the job is an occupation included on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List
  • Where the job offer is in respect of an eligible employment with a minimum annual remuneration of €60,000. However, employment permits cannot be issued for any occupations on the Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permit Listed regardless of remuneration rate
  • Where a recommendation from Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland has been made in relation to the job offer (this applies to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland only)
  • Where the job offer is for a Carer of a person with exceptional medical needs and the non-EEA national has been providing care to the person before the application was made and that person has developed a high level of dependence on that non-EEA national
  • In the case of a General Employment Permit application, where the job is offered to a non-EEA national who held a General Employment Permit or a Work Permit Employment Permit and who, on a date after 1st October 2014, was made redundant and the redundancy occurred within the previous 6 months. This waiver only applies where the Department has been notified of the redundancy within four weeks of the date of dismissal.

If you have a concern about employment permits you can contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit our HR and employment law advice section on our website.

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In this issue
SFA E-zine - The Tuesday Edition
Recent press coverage
Guide to sourcing new employees to combat those recruitment struggles
Employment permits – The Labour Market Needs test
Are you prepared for Brexit?
National Minimum wage survey
Smart Business Workshops kick-off in Drogheda
Business Connect
Smart Business Workshops
Social media fundamentals for small businesses
Training Matters - Essential skills to grow your people and build your business in 2019