Minister Humphreys, Minister for Department of Enterprise and Innovation, on the 1st November has announced plans to publish (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019 for General Scheme of Employment Permits.

This new bill has come out of recommendations from reviews of the Employment Permits Act to meet the needs of today’s economy, labour workforce and move into line with business needs.

Publishing the General Scheme of the Bill, Minister 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.”


A new bill is required which will change the Employment Permits Act of 2003 – 2014.

  • New changes will include:
  1. A Seasonal Employment Permit – To service for shortages, especially in  horticulture, farming and tourism.
  2. Revision and changes in the Labour Market Needs Test – The change to reflect current advertising requirements which has come out of the review, i.e. the removal of the requirement to advertise in Newspapers.
  3. A Special Circumstances Employment Permit – This will cater for very specific requirements where there is no current existing permit, however, will benefit the Irish economy and also be for bilateral agreements with other states.
  4. A Change in the 50:50 rule – The rule will be waived in all cases where the permit holder would be the sole employee of a company (50:50 rule requires that 50% of an employer’s staff be EEA nationals before an employment permit may be granted).


  • Streamline in operational side:
  1. Streamlined Trusted Partner and renewal applications.
  2. Improve the agility of the system by moving operational processes to Regulation for easier modification as circumstances require.
  3. Allow for the refund of fees where the employment permit cannot be taken up in prescribed circumstances.
  4. Simplifying the definition of remuneration and requirements around it.


For full details of the release please see the following link: