Employees in Ireland

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Working Conditions

Opening Hours
  • Legal Weekly Duration
39 hours. More information on the website of the public service.
  • Maximum Duration
48 hours
  • Night Hours
Night workers are entitled to a free health assessment before starting night work and at regular intervals thereafter.
Working Rest Day
Working hours are governed by EU directives, which stipulate that you’re entitled to a minimum of 11 hours’ continuous rest in every 24 hours and at least one rest period in a working day of more than six hours. You’re also entitled to at least 24 hours’ continuous rest every week. Employers are required to compensate staff for Sunday working (i.e. pay them more than their normal daily wage).
Paid Annual Vacation
Under the law, Organisation of Working Time Act , 1997, employees are entitled to 4 working weeks annual leave (20 days) in any leave year during which they have worked 1,365 hours.
Any employee who has worked for at least 8 months of the leave year is entitled to a 2 week unbroken leave period.
Retirement Age
65 years
Child Labor and Minimum Age For Employment
The employment of children under the school-leaving age is generally prohibited. 15 is the legal full-time working age.

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The Cost of Labor


Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage Act 2000 provides that the minimum wage rate for an experienced adult employee from 1 July 2007 is €8.65 an hour. Click here.
Average Wage
Informations are available on the website of the Central statistics Office of Ireland.
Other Forms of Pay
  • Pay For Overtime
"Working hours" include overtime. Although there is no statutory entitlement to premium pay for overtime, it could be arranged between employer and employee.
  • Pay For Rest Days Worked

There are three different ways of calculating your annual leave entitlement:

  1. Based on the employee’s working hours during what is called the leave year, which runs from April to March. An employee who has worked at least 1,365 hours in the leave year (that is, an average working week of 26.25 hours) is entitled to the maximum of four weeks’ annual leave. Many employers use the calendar year (January-December) instead of the official leave year to calculate entitlement
  2. By allowing 1/3 of a working week for each calendar month in which the employee has worked at least 117 hours
  3. 8% of the hours worked in the leave year, subject to a maximum of 4 weeks


  • An employee may use whichever of these methods gives the greater entitlement.
  • An employee who has worked for at least 8 months is entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks’ annual leave.
  • Pay For Night Hours
The definition of normal weekly pay excludes any payments /remuneration or allowances in respect of overtime, night work, shift work, unsocial hours or an employee being available "on call".

Social Security Costs

The Areas Covered
Health insurance (medical care, maternity, disability, death), retirement pensions, family allowances, unemployment benefit.
Almost half the Irish population now pay for private health insurance, one of the highest levels of coverage in the OECD. Click here to consult the website of Irish Wellfare.
Contributions Paid By the Employer: 12 %
Contributions Paid By the Employee: 4,5%
Competent Organization
Department of Social and Family Affairs

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