Republic of Ireland employment law
Produced in partnership with Ciara Ruane, Associate of Pinsent Masons (Ireland)
Republic of Ireland employment law

The following Employment guidance note Produced in partnership with Ciara Ruane, Associate of Pinsent Masons (Ireland) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Republic of Ireland employment law
  • Main areas of difference
  • Categories of employment status
  • Zero hour contracts
  • Banded hour contracts
  • Working week
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Adoptive leave
  • more

There are many similarities between the employment laws in the Republic of Ireland, those in Great Britain and those in Northern Ireland. This is because all are common law jurisdictions and many of the more recent employment law statutes in all those jurisdictions have derived from European Directives.

Notwithstanding this, there are divergences, which we will explore in greater detail below. It is anticipated that there will be further divergence in the future, particularly in light of Brexit.

This Practice Note sets out the differences in employment law between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. However, care should be taken in dealing with matters in Northern Ireland, which operates increasingly divergent laws from Great Britain. For information on the differences between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, see Practice Note: Northern Ireland employment law.

Main areas of difference

The main areas of divergence include:

  1. the categories of employment status

  2. leave entitlements

  3. the qualifying period and redress under the unfair dismissals legislation

  4. redundancy entitlements

  5. protected conversations and settlement agreements

  6. Workplace Relations Commission procedures

  7. the employment protection that applies in relation to transfers of undertakings (TUPE), and

  8. immigration

Categories of employment status

In the Republic of Ireland, individuals who are working are generally categorised as either ‘employees’ or ‘independent contractors’. The category of ‘worker’ in Great Britain is not recognised in the Republic