Employing people in your business
If you start a business and plan to employ staff, you must follow Ireland’s employment laws. You should be aware of your responsibilities as an employer before you hire any staff, for example, in relation to contracts and health and safety in the workplace.
This page explains what you need to know about employing people when starting a business.
Register as an employer with Revenue
If you hire staff, you must register as an employer with Revenue before you pay the employee. You can do this by telling Revenue your name, address and intention to pay staff through the MyEnquiries tab on the Revenue Online Service (ROS).
If you do not register as an employer, but Revenue believes that you are acting as an employer, they will register you. You will get a formal notice of registration from Revenue, and you have 14 days to challenge this in writing.
Paying wages and deducting tax
You must pay your employees at least the minimum wage, which is currently €11.30 per hour. If you do not pay the minimum rate of pay, you can be fined up to €2,500 or imprisoned for up to six months.
Be mindful that some sectors, such as the security sector and construction sector, have different rates of pay. Read more about the rules for certain sectors in our page employment agreements and orders.
You can also read about contracts and terms of employment.
You must deduct tax from your employee’s wages through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, and then pay this to Revenue using the Revenue Online Service.
The amount of tax you deduct depends on the amount of income they earn and on their personal circumstances. Read about how income tax is calculated.
Tax deductions include:
- Income Tax
- Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI)
- Universal Social Charge (USC)
- Local Property Tax (if applicable)
You must deduct tax on or before the date you pay your employee. You must then report the pay and deductions to Revenue.
Remember to give employees a payslip with every payment of their wages. The payslip should set out the worker’s gross pay and any deductions from that pay.
Read more about your tax obligations as a business owner.
If this is not the employee’s first employment in Ireland, you must register their new employment with Revenue.
You do not have to provide a pension scheme for employees (often called ‘occupational pensions’).
However, if you do not offer an occupational pension scheme, or if certain restrictions apply to your scheme, you must give your employees access to at least one standard Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA).
Read the Consumer and Employers’ Guide to PRSAs (pdf) from the Pensions Authority.
Your employees’ rights and entitlements
As an employer, you must give your employees access to all their rights and entitlements.
Read about your employees’ rights in relation to:
- Contracts of employment
- Hours of work and breaks
- Statutory leave, including holidays
- Health and safety
- Industrial relations and trade unions
- Data protection at work
Staff working abroad
If your employee has the right to work in Ireland but they live and work for you abroad, Revenue may give you a PAYE Exclusion Order. If eligible, you do not have to deduct income tax and USC from this employee.
You may also qualify for a PAYE Exclusion Order if your employee carries out incidental duties in Ireland for up to 30 days per year. To apply for a PAYE Exclusion Order, your employee needs a PPS number.
You do not need to pay PAYE, or apply for a PAYE Exclusion Order, if your employee meets all of the following:
- They are not a director of your company
- They have no income tax liability in Ireland
- They carry out all their duties abroad
Directors of Irish companies must pay tax in Ireland regardless of their residency status.
Bringing staff to Ireland
EEA, UK and Swiss nationals have the right to live and work in Ireland without a visa or immigration permission. Non-EEA, UK and Swiss nationals need a valid work permit to work in Ireland. Read about the different types of work permits.
It is a criminal offence to knowingly employ a person aged 16 or over who does not have permission to live and work in Ireland. You can be fined or imprisoned for committing this offence.
Grants and support to hire staff
Work Placement Experience Programme
The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP) allows employers to host a jobseeker on a work experience placement, to help the jobseeker build new skills and get work experience.
There is no cost to the employer. The participant will be paid by the Department of Social Protection during their work placement.
Employers who employ jobseekers from the live register on a full-time basis, get regular grant payments to help balance wage costs.
Wage Subsidy Scheme for people with disabilities
The Wage Subsidy Scheme for people with disabilities is available to private sector employers who employ workers with a disability. You must be able to employ workers with a disability between 21 and 39 hours per week.
Disability Awareness Training
Employers in the private sector can get a grant to provide Disability Awareness Training for their staff.
More information about employing staff
Read the Workplace Relations Commission’s guide for employers who are starting a new business with a paid employee (pdf).
You can also read: