Working in Ireland after living abroad


If you have been living abroad for a long time, or you have never worked in Ireland, you will need to re-familiarise yourself with working in Ireland. There have been changes in areas like employment rights, where jobs are advertised and what childcare options are available. This document highlights the main changes and directs you further useful information.

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

It is a good idea to start your job search before you come home. Some employers are prepared to hire candidates directly from overseas, so you might secure a job before you come home. You will need to prepare documents, organise references and do some research on pay and conditions in Ireland. You can read more about Finding and getting a job in Ireland after living abroad.

Starting work and getting paid

Once you get a job, you should take steps to make sure you get paid on time and avoid having emergency tax applied to your pay.

Your employer must give you a contract of employment within 5 days of starting your new job. This should clearly state the rate or method of calculating pay, how many hours you are expected to work in a normal working week and how long the contract of employment is for.

Paying tax on your income

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

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

Understanding your employment rights

There have been many recent changes to employment legislation in Ireland. If it has been a long time since you have worked in Ireland (or you have never worked here), then it is a good idea to update yourself and make sure you understand legislation that relates to you. You can see an up-to-date list of employment rights and entitlements.

Knowing what childcare options are available

If you have children, and you need someone to take care of them while you are at work, you need to explore your childcare options.

Having trouble finding work

If you don’t find a job before you come home, you can access State employment supports once you have arrived home to Ireland.

There are also social welfare supports for jobseekers including:

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a means-tested payment given to unemployed people who are looking for work. Read more about Jobseekers Allowance.

Jobseeker’s Benefit 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 need the contributions paid in another EU/EEA member state to help you qualify, then your last contribution must have been in Ireland. Read more about Jobseekers Benefit.

Page edited: 20 August 2020