Losing your job


It is widely recognised that losing your job can be one of the most difficult times of your life. This document is an introduction to the range of issues that you need to consider when you lose your job.

Dismissal and redundancy

If you lose your job you may have been made redundant or you may have been dismissed. If it is a redundancy situation you may qualify for a redundancy payment. You can find out how your redundancy payment is taxed. If you have been let go from your job, you should check that your employer had fair grounds for your dismissal. If you are concerned about your dismissal you should find out more about your rights under unfair dismissals legislation. When you lose your job you are entitled to notice and you may also be entitled to payment in lieu of wages and for holidays.

PRSI and tax

When you lose your job you should register as unemployed with your local Intreo centre or Social Welfare Branch Office even if you do not qualify for an unemployment payment. You may be able to sign on for credited PRSI contributions so that you do not have a break in your social insurance record.

You may be entitled to a tax refund if you have been out of work for some time.

Note: Since 1 January 2019 you will no longer receive a P45 when you lose your job. Under Revenue’s PAYE Moderisation programme, P45s were abolished and replaced with an online system. Now, when you leave a job your employer will enter your leaving date and details of your final pay and deductions into Revenue’s online system and you can access these details through Revenue’s myAccount.

Social welfare and other benefits.

You may be entitled to an unemployment social welfare payment. If you have enough social insurance contributions you may be entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit. If you do not have enough PRSI contributions you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance which is a means-tested benefit. Depending on your circumstances you may qualify for a medical card or GP visit card and other secondary benefits such as Rent Supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

Looking for work

There are a number of sources of information to help you find a job including newspapers, recruitment agencies and websites. There also are different organisations which can assist you. You should register with your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office for information about job vacancies. Its services also include career guidance and information about Job Clubs and training courses. Local Employment Services (LES) assist long-term unemployed people through training and career guidance to progress from social welfare to work. There are employment schemes for long-term unemployed people such as Community Employment.

Education and training

After losing your job you may decide to return to education or vocational training, perhaps changing direction in your career. There is a wide range of education and training programmes offering full-time and part-time courses. The courses include Further Education and Training (FET) courses and courses provided by Education and Training Boards (ETBs). If you are on an unemployment payment you may be eligible for the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) or the Back to Education Allowance.

Returning to work

When you are returning to work you should make sure that your tax and PRSI deductions are correct. You should let your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office know when you are starting work.

If you are taking up self-employment you may be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

Page edited: 19 May 2022