Working in Ireland
Click on the links below to bring you to the relevant section.
If you are not an Irish citizen, legal resident or EU national, then you or your employer must apply for a work permit before you come to Ireland in order for you to work. Once you have secured a job offer, you can apply for a work permit through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Investment (DJEI). You can visit their website for more details and to apply.
Nasc does not provide support for people applying for work permits unless your application has been refused or you were previously a work permit holder and have since become undocumented. See here for Nasc’s legal service.
For more information work permits and who is eligible, contact your local Citizens Information Centre, ring the CIC Phoneline at 0761 07 4000 or visit their website
If you are a migrant worker living in Cork and you have issues getting a work permit or are currently undocumented, please call into Nasc’s legal service.
If you are living in Dublin, visit the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland for advice and support.
Nasc’s publication Employment, Enterprise and Education: A Guide for Migrants in Cork is available to download in English, Polish, French, Arabic, Mandarin and Russian, or you can pick up a hard copy at Nasc.
The guide includes information on entitlements to employment, what you need to work in Ireland, free supports for jobseekers, finding a job, and employment rights.
Migrant workers are entitled to the same rights in the workplace as any other worker. Here’s how to find out what they are:
If you feel like you have been discriminated against in the workplace or in a job interview, or in any employment-related situation, or experienced racism of any type, you can report it to Nasc. See here for more information.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties Know Your Rights public information project is designed to inform people in clear and accessible language about their rights under various key areas of the law in Ireland. Topics covered in the opening three Know Your Rights booklets are Criminal Justice and Garda Powers, Privacy and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The leaflets can be downloaded here.
The website of the Workplace Relations bodies, provides information about basic employment rights, like pay and holiday entitlements, which can be accessed here. They also provide a telephone information service: Lo-Call 1890 808090.
For those employed in the restaurant, agricultural or domestic work sectors, the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland has specific worker’s action groups that you can join, and its website has further information about employment rights generally.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the umbrella organisation for trade unions in Ireland, representing a range of interests of employees, both in Ireland and in Northern Ireland. It provides a list of the different unions that you could join. By joining a union, you can benefit from the support of your peers, and from the legal and negotiation expertise of your union representatives.
If you feel that you are being treated unfairly in the workplace, it may be the case that you are being bullied, in which case you are protected under employment legislation. Take a look at SIPTU‘s website for information about bullying.
Equality legislation in Ireland prohibits discrimination in both employment and access to goods and services, on nine grounds: gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race (including colour, nationality or national or ethnic origin), and membership of the Irish Traveller Community. Employment Equality Legislation covers all aspects of work including recruitment and promotion, the right to equal pay, conditions of employment, training or experience. The Equal Status Acts cover access to a place, facilities for banking, entertainment, cultural activities or transport, professional or trade services, health services, access to education and accommodation. Complaints about discrimination – whether in the workplace or otherwise – can be made (usually through your trade union or other representative) to The Equality Tribunal, which provides quite a lot of information about equality legislation on its website.
The National Employment Rights Authority’s website also provides a guide called How do I get my Rights? which gives details about the various places (tribunals, courts etc.) to which one can bring a complaint.
The information presented here is provided in good faith and every effort is made to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. All content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. Nasc does not accept liability for the use or misuse of the information presented here. Thank you for your co-operation.
Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre is a non-profit organisation. We receive no government funding, demand no payment from our clients, and rely on donations to enable us to provide our service. If you have found the information on this page useful, please consider making a donation – every euro received goes towards helping us to protect human rights, promote integration and campaign for change.