It has been announced that the Government will publish a new bill – the Employment Permits Bill – that will modernise the Employment Permit process.

The Bill is being drafted in response to the Review of Economic Migration Policy carried out by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in 2018. The review stated that, while the employment permits system provides a robust framework to supplement skills and labour needs in the State, the current legislation imposes considerable inflexibility in its operation. The review recommended increasing the agility and effectiveness of the existing system while retaining the key policy focus of supporting the economy and the labour market through evidence-based decision making.

The Department has indicated that the new Bill will be published in the Autumn.

Under the Bill, a Seasonal Employment Permit will be introduced to allow for permits to be granted to workers in sectors that require employees at certain times of the year.

There will be an extensive revision of the labour market needs test to ensure it is more relevant and efficient. Salary thresholds will be included to ensure wages are in line with salary increases in Ireland.

The Bill will see the streamlining of a number of requirements to the permit granting process, to make it more efficient and it will move operational criteria to the Regulations.

A number of other conditions for the granting of a permit will be included such as training and accommodation support for foreign workers.