St. Brigid’s Day and Public Holiday Entitlements in Ireland: What Employers Need to Know 2024

Starting in 2023, Ireland introduced a new annual public holiday to celebrate St Brigid’s Day. This holiday is observed on the first Monday of February. However, if the 1st of February falls on a Friday, then that Friday becomes a public holiday instead. The St Brigid’s Day public holiday falls on Monday, Feb 5th this year.

Do you know your Employee Public Holiday Entitlements in 2024?

There are 10 public holidays in Ireland this year. The 10 Irish Public Holidays for 2024 are as follows:

January 1stNew Year’s Day

February 5th: Imbolc/St. Brigid’s Day (A new public holiday that commenced in 2023 is now celebrated annually on the first Monday in February unless the 1st of February falls on a Friday, in which case Friday, February 1st will be a public holiday)

March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day

April 1st, Easter Monday: Occurs on the Monday after Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday changes date each year, usually observed on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 depending on lunar calendars.

May 6th:  First Monday in May

June 3rd: First Monday in June

August 5th: First Monday in August

October 28thLast Monday in October

December 25th: Christmas Day

December 26th: St. Stephen’s Day

There is often confusion around the status of Good Friday. Although some Organisations offer the day as a Company annual leave day, it is not a public holiday and is therefore treated as a normal working day under Irish employment law.

Considerations for Irish businesses with respect to their Employees’ public holiday entitlements

It may seem quite straightforward but there are actually several considerations for Irish businesses with respect to their Employees’ public holiday entitlements. We consider some tricky scenarios such as:

  • Businesses that require Employees to work on the public holiday
  • How to handle part-time Employees’ entitlements
  • What happens if an Employee is on leave or is on temporary lay-off?

Read more in our latest article to learn how to manage these requests.


Irish Employment Permit System Changes Effective From 17 January 2024

Late last year, on 22 December 2023, the Irish Government announced an expansion of the nation’s employment permit system while also raising the salary thresholds for most types of permits.

Why did the Government overhaul the Employment permit scheme?

This reform is intended to address labour shortages that many Irish Employers have faced in recent years and will broaden the pool of Employers who can utilize the country’s employment permit and immigration system. These changes reflect the Irish government’s efforts to ensure that the employment permits system remains responsive to the future economic climate and labour market conditions.

What are some of the changes that came into force on 17th of January 2024?

Salary Changes

  1. General Employment Permit: The minimum salary requirement will increase from €30,000 to €34,000.
  2. Critical Skill with a Degree. The minimum salary requirement will increase from €32,000 to €38,000.
  3. Healthcare Assistants and Home Carers: The minimum salary will rise from €27,000 to €30,000.
  4. Meat Processors and Horticultural Workers: Their salary requirement will increase from €22,916 to €30,000.
  5. Butcher/Boner: Their salary requirement will increase from €27,500 to €34,000.
  6. Graduate Positions: Language Skills Specialist Their salary requirement will increase from €27,000 to €34,000.

Quota Changes
In addition to the salary requirement changes, there are also extensions of existing quotas for several occupations, which are now in effect:

  • Meat processing operatives will have a quota of 1,000 General Employment Permits.
  • Butchers/Deboners will have a quota of 350 General Employment Permits.
  • Dairy farm assistants will have a quota of 350 General Employment Permits.
  • Horticultural workers will have a quota of 1,000 General Employment Permits to support the sector until the introduction of the Seasonal Employment Permit.

Criteria Changes

  • 11 new occupations added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and Employers with vacancies for these roles should note the revised salary thresholds needed to obtain a Critical Skills Employment Permit.
  • The removal of 32 occupations from the Ineligible Occupations List, making a larger pool of occupations eligible for a General Employment Permit.

How will this reform of the Employment permit scheme impact Employers?

This reform may require Employers to reassess and possibly adjust their budget forecasts to ensure that their Employment permit holders can maintain their work status in Ireland. Employers who engage non-EU/EEA/Swiss staff members should consider the potential cost and related implications for their 2024 and 2025 recruitment plans. While the reforms provide opportunities for Employers to address skill shortages, they also bring challenges related to increased Employment costs and the need for careful workforce planning and budget management.

To get more detail on the Employer Permit Reforms you can read the full story here.

Irish employment law has been changing rapidly in recent years and it can be very challenging for businesses to stay on top of their compliance. If you are interested in getting support from our experts at Adare, please contact us at 01 561 3594 or email