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What We Do

Labour Market Needs Test

Please note that from 1 January 2020, any employment permit application where a Labour Market Needs Test is required MUST have published a EURES ad for at least 28 days BEFORE a valid application can be submitted.

The Government’s policy is that employment opportunities which arise in Ireland should, in the first instance, be offered to suitably skilled Irish and other EEA nationals, and should only be offered to non-EEA nationals where no suitable candidate emerges from within the EEA to fill the vacancy.

This policy also fulfils our obligations under the Community Preference principles of membership of the EU.

In order to ensure that job opportunities are made available to Irish and EEA nationals, employers must satisfy a Labour Market Needs Test before a General Employment Permit or Contract for Services Employment Permit can be issued to a non-EEA national.

What does the Labour Market Needs Test involve

The employer must advertise the vacancy:

  • with the Department of Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least 4 weeks and
  • in a national newspaper for at least 3 days and also
  • in either a local newspaper or jobs website (separate to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection/EURES websites) for 3 days.

In line with Regulations made under the Employment Permits Act 2006, as amended the vacancy must include the following information:

  • a description of the employment,
  • the name of the employer,
  • the minimum annual remuneration,
  • the location/s of employment, and
  • the hours of work.

How to arrange an advertisement with the Department of Social Protection Services and with EURES

The Department of Social Protection Employment Services network ensures national coverage while the EURES (European Employment Services) network advertises the vacancy across the EU.

To arrange the advertisement with the Department of Social Protection and EURES, employers/contractors can log onto the Department of Social Protection Employment Services JobsIreland at jobsireland.ie or gov.ie/dsp and select the employer option for the online service.

Alternatively, employers/contractors can contact JobsIreland on Tel 08118 111 112 or 01 248 1389 to register their vacancy by phone or email jobsireland@welfare.ie

The vacancy the employer/contractor has registered will be given a reference number.

An application for an employment permit can only be submitted when the Labour Market Needs Test has been completed and the application must be submitted within 90 days of the commencement of the advertisement on JobsIreland/EURES. 

Employers should note that vacancies should not be amended or extended, at any time, during the 28 days of advertising on the JobsIreland site. 

Do all applications for General or Contract for Services Employment Permits require a Labour Market Needs Test?

In general, yes. However, the Labour Market Needs Test is NOT required where:

  • the job is an occupation included on the Critical Skills Occupations List
  • the job offer is in respect of an eligible employment with a minimum annual remuneration of €64,000. Employment permits cannot be issued in respect of employments, irrespective of remuneration, on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits
  • a recommendation from Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland has been made in relation to the job offer (this applies to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland only)
  • the job offer is for a Carer of a person with exceptional medical needs and the non-EEA national has been providing care to the person before the application was made and that person has developed a high level of dependence on that non-EEA national

In the case of a General Employment Permit application, where the job is offered to a non-EEA national who held a General Employment Permit or a Work Permit Employment Permit and who, on a date after 1 October 2014, was made redundant and the redundancy occurred within the previous 6 months.

This waiver only applies where the Department has been notified of the redundancy within four weeks of the date of dismissal.

Employment Permits Section