2021 Changes to Employment Permit System

On the 14th June 2021, the Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English announced some changes to the work permit system.

With the aim to reduce labour shortages in the healthcare and nursing home sectors, health care assistants have been removed from the list of ineligible occupations for work permits, in addition to occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists. Those wishing to be employed in any of the above professions can now apply for a work permit.

Particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, nursing homes have struggled to meet demand and rely heavily on non-EEA nationals to provide care. This announcement will allow non-EEA nationals to more readily obtain employment in their chosen field. Minister English commented:

“One of the principal beneficiaries of today’s announcement will be the Nursing Home Sector following the removal of Health Care Assistants from the ineligible occupation list. With increases in the aging population and consequent increases in demand for services, significant extra Health Care Assistants will be required to provide sufficient long-term residential care for older people into the future. The impact of COVID-19 also means that the demand for Health Care Assistants is likely to continue to be significant.“

This is significant news for our clients who are employed in the care sector. We encounter many people who have been offered a position in a working home but require a work permit to be entitled to work in Ireland. This is a major step and indicative of the irreplaceable role health care assistants have played over the last year.

There are a few conditions that must be met before you apply:

You must be earning at least €27,000;
You must have a relevant QQI level 5 qualification after two years in the employment.
The announcement comes as the HSE looks to recruit up to 16,000 additional staff.

If you are interested in applying for a work permit based on this announcement, please do get in contact with us and we would be delighted to assist you. You can contact out office on 021-4270391 or info@joycecosolicitors.com