What does the labour market needs test mean in daily life?

The labour market needs test requires employers to have some of their vacancies published for weeks. 

Preventing Ireland’s labour market from being flooded with non-EEA nationals, the Irish government has reintroduced a test to survey if the labour market really needs a non-EEA national for some of the advertised vacancies.

Today, each employer who is seeking an employee has to make sure an advertised job is offered to Irish or EEA citizens first. This is done via the labour market needs test, which is essentially a job advertisement with a minimum of 28 days having to be posted online.

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Employers must advertise the vacancy:

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

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These tests are carried out in relation to the issuance of a General Employment Permit or Contract for Services Employment Permit. Ireland’s labour market is based on the system of different employment permits when it comes to non-EEA nationals.   

Only after 28 days, the employer or a potential employee can submit an employment permit application online. In the “Details of Advertisement” section of this application they will have to provide a reference number of the vacancy registered and published on EURES or the Department’s website.  

Also, this application must be submitted within 90 days since the advertisement was posted on EURES or on www.jobsireland.ie, the latter of which is operated by the Department. 

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A 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 €60,000
  • 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 

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Ireland, additionally, runs its own Ineligible List of Occupations. It lists jobs which will not be granted an employment permit under any circumstances as there is a surplus of workers from Ireland and the EEA area who can take up these jobs.

Peter Dlhopolec
Peter Dlhopolec

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