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Employment Rights

The following is provided for information purposes only on employment rights in Ireland.

The Work Place Relations website provides information on industrial relations and rights and obligations under employment and equality legislation in Ireland. They should be contacted directly for all queries in relation to employment rights.

Employers - Starting a new business

When setting up a new business in Ireland with paid employees, employers are required to be aware of the relevant employment law applicable.

Information for employer’s starting a new business is available here on the Work Place Relations website.

Information on Posted Workers

A "posted worker" is an employee who is sent by his/ her employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis. Council Directive 96/71/EC defines a posted worker as a ‘person who, for a limited period of time, carries out his or her work in the territory of an EU Member State other than the State in which he or she normally works’. The definition does not include individuals who decide of their own accord to seek employment in another Member State, seagoing personnel in the merchant navy or the self-employed.

Council Directive 96/71/EC on the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services addressed the problem of the growing number of workers posted by enterprises to work temporarily in another Member State.

The EC Directive 96/71/EC on Posted Workers has been transposed into Irish law as a miscellaneous provision of the Protection of Employees (Part-time Work) Act 2001.

The Act provides that the full range of Irish employee protection legislation applies to foreign workers posted to work in, or otherwise working in this country.

As a result of the concerns that the framework Directive (Council Directive 96/71/EC) was not being fully complied with, the European Commission adopted additional legislation to provide for improved monitoring of posting situations and to improve compliance with existing rules on posted workers. A new Directive, EU Directive 2014/67/EU on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC (“the Framework Directive”) concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services was adopted in May 2014. The new Directive was transposed into Irish law on 28 July 2016 in the form of S.I. 412 of 2016 - European Union (posting of Workers) Regulations 2016.

The key measures introduced in these Regulations include:

  • a new requirement on foreign service providers when posting workers to Ireland to notify the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The service provider must provide certain information (using the prescribed Form of Declaration which can be found here) which will enable the WRC to monitor posting activity and ensure compliance with posting rules;
  • a new subcontracting liability in the construction sector to guard against posted workers being paid less than their minimum entitlements. Where a posted worker in construction is not paid the applicable statutory rates of pay by their direct employer, the contractor one step up the supply chain may also be held liable for the shortfall in the net remuneration payable;
  • the creation of a right for a posted worker to refer a complaint to the Director General of the WRC naming both the direct employer and the contractor one step up as respondents;
  • the introduction of a defence of due diligence for the contractor in any claim before the WRC. The regulations set out in detail the test or criteria which the contractor will have to satisfy in order to avail of the defence of due diligence;
  • new measures which allow for the enforcement of cross border financial administrative penalties and fines incurred in another Member State by a service provider in the Member State in which the service provider is based.


The Form of Declaration may be submitted to the Workplace Relations Commission via post or email.

The address for submissions is:

Posted Worker Liaison Unit
Workplace Relations Commission
O'Brien Road
R93 W7W2
Republic of Ireland

or they can also be e-mailed to WRCpostedworkers@workplacerelations.ie

Telephone queries may be directed to the Workplace Relation Commission Lo-call Information Line at 0818 80 80 90 or +353 59 917 8990 (Opening Hours 09:30 to 17:00 - Mon. to Fri.)

Further information on posted workers can be found in the following links below. The Work Place Relations website should be contacted direct for all queries regarding the information provided above.

Coming to work in Ireland

Contacting Work Place Relations 

Please find contact details for Work Place Relations here or make an online enquiry.

Workplace Relations Commission, O'Brien Road, Carlow, R93 E920. DX Number: 271001
Tel: +353 59 9178990