Working in Ireland after living abroad


If you are returning to Ireland after living abroad, or if you have never worked in Ireland, you need to know how employment in Ireland works. This page has information on your employment rights, where to look for a job, income tax and childcare in Ireland.

If you are coming home with non-EEA family members, and they want to work in Ireland, they must have permission to work.

Finding and getting a job

Try to start your job search before you come home to Ireland. Some employers hire people directly from overseas. You will need to:

  • prepare your CV (resumé)
  • organise your references, and
  • do some research on pay and conditions in Ireland.

If you want to work in Ireland and your qualification is from another country, you may need to get your qualification recognised in Ireland. You should get your foreign qualification recognised before you apply for a job.

You can use the Jobs Ireland website to search for jobs, or visit our page ‘Finding a job’ for information on where to find work after living abroad.

Starting work and getting paid

Within 5 days of starting a new job, your employer should tell you in writing:

  • How much you’ll be paid and how often
  • How many hours you are expected to work in a normal week
  • How long your contract is for (only applies to temporary or fixed-term contracts)

You have a right to get a payslip with every payment of your wages, either when you get paid or shortly after.

The national minimum wage for people aged 20 or over in Ireland is €12.70 per hour since 1 January 2024.

Learn more about pay and employment.

Paying tax on your income

When you work in Ireland, you pay tax and charges on your income through the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. You normally pay Income tax, Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and Universal Social Charge (USC).

When you start a new job, take the following steps to make sure you get paid on time and avoid paying emergency tax:

  • Give your employer your PPS number
  • Make sure you are registered for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) in myAccount on the Revenue website
  • Register your new job with Revenue’s Jobs and Pensions service in myAccount. (You only need to register your first job. If you change job, you don’t need to register your new job on myAccount).

You can read more about the tax you pay as an employee in Ireland.

If you are starting to work for yourself, read about the different tax rules for self-employed people.

Your employment rights in Ireland

If you haven’t worked in Ireland for a long time (or if you have never worked here), then you should find out about your employment rights.

Your employment rights include:

Childcare options in Ireland

If you have children and you need someone to take care of them while you are at work, you have different childcare options, including:

  • Full day care
  • Sessional services (such as Montessori or playschool)
  • Childminders

You may be able to get help with paying for childcare through the National Childcare Scheme and the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme.

Help with finding work

If you are unemployed when you return to Ireland, you can access free local employment services for jobseekers. Your local employment service (LES) or your local Job Club can help you with writing a CV and cover letter. They can also help with filling in job application forms and training in interview skills.

You can apply for a jobseeker's payment while you look for work, including:

Jobseeker’s Allowance

This is a means-tested payment given to unemployed people who are looking for work.

Jobseeker’s Benefit

This is a payment given to unemployed people who are looking for work and who have paid enough PRSI contributions. It is not means tested.

If you are applying for Jobseeker's Benefit and you need contributions you paid in another EU or EEA country to help you qualify, then your last contribution must have been paid in Ireland.

More information and contacts

Visit the employment category on for more information about employment in Ireland.

You can also get information on your employment rights from the Workplace Relations Commission’s Information and Customer Service.

You may want to contact your local Intreo centre to get information on job vacancies. Intreo centres provide information and advice for all jobseekers.

Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service

O'Brien Road
R93 E920

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 0818 80 80 90
Page edited: 2 January 2024