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According to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, a Review of Economic Migration Policy undertaken in 2018 concluded that, while the employment permits system provides a robust framework to supplement skills and labour needs in the State, the current legislation imposes considerable inflexibility in its operation. 

The proposed bill does not represent a change in overall government policy but it will combine with the existing Employment Permit legislation. Some of the proposed changes are: 

  • Introduction of a seasonal employment permit,
  • Revision of the labour market needs test to make it more relevant and efficient
  • Introduction of a scheme to deal with occasional exceptional circumstances 

More details of the proposals can be found here. 

According to the website, the 6-week process of public consultation on the Bill has commenced and submissions are invited from stakeholders and interested parties. The Department encourages interested parties to submit their views on the scheme of the proposed Bill. Following completion of the public consultation on 17th January 2020, detailed drafting of the Bill will commence and findings will be formally published of the legislation in early summer 2020. The Department will then fully assess all responses to the present consultation before finalising the draft legislation for submission to Government. 

Responses to the consultation should be returned, by email, with ‘Consultation on General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill’ in the subject line to empu@dbei.gov.ie, or by post to Economic Migration Policy Unit, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2.

For full details, check out the website here. 

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