The situation

Effective January 1, 2018, the national minimum wage in Ireland has increased to EUR 9.55 per hour (EUR 19,367.40 annually, based on a 39-hour work week), up 3 percent from last year. However, because most work authorization categories in Ireland require a minimum salary that is significantly higher than the national minimum wage, this change affects only specific work authorization categories that allow a lower minimum salary.

A closer look

  • Who is affected by the increase.
    • This change mostly affects the Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, Internship Employment Permit and Atypical Working Scheme Authorization, since these work authorizations allow a lower salary threshold.
    • The increase in minimum wage also impacts Intra-Company Transfer and Contract for Services employment permits, where the employee’s home country salary requires an additional monetary amount (known as a top up) to reach the minimum wage level.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a work permit on or after January 1, 2018 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary, if necessary, to comply with the new rule.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending work permit applications as of January 1, 2018 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary, if necessary, to comply with the new rule.
  • Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum wage amount will be rejected.

Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, base salaries of those affected by the increase will need to be raised to meet the new minimum wage requirement, before other allowable expenses (such as payments for board, accommodation or health insurance) are included.
  • Proof on pay slip. As before, the base salary and top up amount must be clearly visible on the foreign worker’s pay slip. Health insurance, board and accommodation costs may be evidenced by separate documentation.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in EUR regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.