Contracts in Ireland

Overview by

The Active Population in Figures

Main Indicators 2007200620052004
Labor Force
2 194.1
2 108.3
2 014.8
1 920.3
Labor Force (Annual Growth, %) ----
Rate of Activity (%)
Unemployment Rate (%)


Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2007
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 0.0%
Other Production Industries 0.0%
Construction 0.0%
Wholesale & Retail Trade 0.0%
Hotels and Restaurants 0.0%
Transport, Storage & Communication 0.0%
Financial & Other Business Services 0.0%
Public Administration & Defense 0.0%
Education 0.0%
Health 0.0%
Other Services 0.0%

Source: Central Statistics Office Ireland

For Further Statistics
Central Statistics Office Ireland
For Further Information About the Labor Market
Department of trade and employment

Management of Human Resources



Method of Recruitment
The main recruitment methods are local newspaper advertisements, word of mouth and recruitment agencies. Most companies use only one method because it works for them.
Companies will only change their methods if the current one is perceived not to be working. Most companies do not have a specific recruitment budget because the activity is not significant in cost terms or in frequency.
Recruitment Agencies, Irishjobs, Monster, Bay Group...
Recruitment Websites
Bay Group

The Contract

Type of Contract
A contract of employment can be verbal or written, or a combination of both.  Most contracts of employment are unlimited i.e. they do not specify an end-date. Fixed-term contracts of employment are generally treated the same way as unlimited contracts, except that they are subject to special rules about termination.
There are no special contracts of employment. Most contracts of employment specify a probation period of twelve months. More details on the website of the International Labor Organization.
Breach of Contracts
  • Retirement
There is no single fixed retirement age for employees in Ireland. If you are employed, your retirement age is set out in your contract of employment. The usual retirement age in contracts of employment is 65.
  • Dismissals
Service is not broken by a lockout, lay-off, strike or change of ownership of business or dismissal followed by immediate re-engagement.  The Labor Relations Commission has published the Code of Practice: Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures which states that employers should have written grievance and disciplinary procedures and they should give employees copies of these at the start of their employment. Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2001 employers are required to give the employee in written notice of the procedures to be followed before an employee is dismissed. This must be done within 28 days of entering the contract of employment.
Labor Laws
Labor regulation

Dispute Settlement


Conciliation Process

Cases of Dispute
Labor law matters are generally not dealt with through the ordinary courts structures, but rather through a specialist structure of labor institutions: the Labor Relations Commission, Rights Commissioners, the Director of Equality Investigations, the Labor Court and the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
  • Legal Framework
After hearing the parties, rights commissioner issue the findings of their investigations in the form of either non-binding recommendations or decisions, depending on the legislation under which a case is referred.
These can be appealed, provided the appeal is lodged within the time limits set down in the legislation. The relevant Acts govern whether the appeal is to the Labor Court or Employment Appeals Tribunal. Having heard the appeal, the Court, or Tribunal, will issue a decision, which is binding on the parties to the dispute.

Judicial Structures

  • Competent Legal Body
The Irish Labor Court
The Labor Relations Commission (LRC)

Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the single umbrella organization for trade unions in Ireland representing a wide range of interests of almost 750,000 working people, both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.
In 2006 there were 64 unions affiliated to Congress, 48 unions with 543,882 members in the Republic of Ireland and 36 unions with 215,478 members in Northern Ireland.
Unionization Rate
Currently, roughly 33% of workers in the private sector are unionized, compared to 95% in the public sector. Among foreign-owned firms, roughly 80% of workers do not belong to unions, although pay and benefits are usually more attractive compared with domestic firms.
Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Regulation Bodies
International Labour Market

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