Working in Ireland



Ireland is gifted with acres of arable land, and so it is not surprising that its economy was built on agriculture. However, Ireland has to adapt to current trends to survive, and there has been a shift of focus to a modern economy. After decades of being an agriculture-dependent economy, Ireland has shifted gears to adapt to the worldwide trend of high-technology industries. 

The Irish economy did take a beating from the worldwide financial slump in 2008, but with an impressive GDP of 283.70 billion USD as of 2015, Ireland has obviously taken the best measures to weather the effect of the financial crises. The European Commission also released a statement via the Irish Times in March 2016 saying that Ireland was the fastest developing country in Europe. Though the time of the 'Celtic Tiger' has passed, Ireland still managed to rise above the economic adversity and is now one of the most sought after employment destinations of expats from all parts of the globe. 

Major Industries 

Ireland has a workforce of 2.187 million people, 49% of which are employed in the services sector, 46% are involved in the industries sector, and the remaining 6% are part of the agriculture sector. Like its other European neighbours, the Emerald Isle has also opened its doors to the high-technology industry. It also continues to thrive with the help of the trade and investment sectors. 

Another key employer in Ireland is the export sector. Multinational companies are the major players in this industry, primarily dealing with the manufacture and export of food products, textile, machinery, chemicals, and even transportation equipment. Recently, the construction sector has also significantly contributed to appease the needs of the increasing labour force. Other key industries with high demand for employment are transport, communications, storage, and energy generation. More jobs are also available in the fields of financial services, e-business, and the services sector. 

Average Salary 

The monthly minimum wage in Ireland hasn't changed in the six previous months and is still at €1,546.35 in 2016. Most jobs have a salary range of 24,000 to 26,000 Euros which compensates for one's living expenses. As with any country, salaries in Ireland still vary depending on one's professional experience and academic qualifications but according to the Central Statistics Yearbook of Ireland, the average salary for a full-time employee is around €45,000 while those working on part-time jobs earn roughly €16,300. 

Working Hours 

The average number of working hours in Ireland is 39 hours, and this is governed by directives of the European Union. The typical Irish working day starts at 9 am until 5:30 pm with one hour lunch which can be taken between 12nn and 2 pm. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 11 hours of rest in every 24 hours and at least one rest or break in a working day of more than six hours. You are also eligible for at least 24 hours of rest every seven days as well as to a minimum of four weeks holiday and nine public holidays annually. 

Income Tax 

Generally speaking, income tax in Ireland is payable on both unearned and earned earnings which include capital gains, investment income, pensions and salaries. It also includes employee benefits or perks such as cost of living allowances, annual or performance bonuses, holidays or home leave paid by the employer and relocation allowances. Ireland also implements two tax brackets: the standard rate which is 20% and the higher rate which is 40%. Those two brackets are based on the individual’s tax category: 


Taxable Income in Euros (€)

Rate %

Individuals w/o dependent children



Single/Widowed persons qualifying for One-parent Family tax credit



Married couples



All categories

Earned income remainder


Business Culture 

The business culture in Ireland is considered as conservative and puts significant emphasis on the importance of family. Though most locals don’t give too much attention to punctuality, foreign assignees should still arrive on time and give their Irish associates the leeway to be late. The work environment is also relaxed and newcomers may find it a surprise that the Irish don’t mind missing a deadline or delivery date. 

Dress codes in Ireland are modest and conservative. Most executives wear suits and ties while dark, subdued colours as well as raincoats are the common outfit of workers throughout the year.


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