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Employing Ukrainian Refugees In Ireland: A Guide For Businesses

Due to the conflict in Ukraine with Russia, many Ukrainian citizens seek refugee status across the EU, including in Ireland. Employers should be aware of how they can support Ukrainian citizens by offering employment opportunities and work.

Understanding Irish law regarding Ukrainian refugees from Ukraine can be complex; this is why it is useful to have an expert immigration lawyer to help out. Call us at IAS today at +353 061 518 025 or contact us online, to get help with hiring Ukrainian refugees in Ireland.

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    Can Irish Businesses Employ Ukrainian Refugees?

    More than 30,000 Ukrainian citizens have come to Ireland via the temporary protection directive. With this directive in place, these Ukrainian nationals are granted immediate access to the Irish labour market without having to apply to get further permissions.

    This temporary protection directive was put into place by the European Union, and for refugees entering Ireland, this means that they can come from Ukraine to Ireland and can work, access services, and receive benefits without needing to make an application for international protection.

    To Whom Does The Temporary Protection Applies To?

    This applies to all of the following individuals:

    • Ukrainian citizens who were living in Ukraine before February 24, 2022.
    • Individuals who had refugee status, or a different type of international protection, in Ukraine.
    • Stateless people who were living in Ukraine before February 24, 2022.
    • Family members of those listed above if they were living in Ukraine before February 24, 2022.

    This also applies to those who had permanent Ukrainian residence permits, were living in Ukraine before February 24, 2022, and cannot safely return to their country.

    Ukrainian citizens and their family members who enter Ireland do not require a visa or work permit. Once they have acquired the permission letter confirming that they have been granted temporary protection under the EU Directive, they get immediate access to the entire labour market in Ireland without needing additional or further permissions.

    Employers should hold a copy of this letter until the Irish Government and the Department of Justice put into place formal arrangements for the registration of individuals with temporary protection status in Ireland.

    Ukrainian citizens can legally work in Ireland as soon as they have received their letter confirming they have Temporary Protection under the EU Directive. They’re also entitled to a full range of statutory employment rights and protections,protections like Irish workers.

    Once they start working in Ireland for the first time, they only need to provide an employer with their assigned PPS number. After this, the employer can register the job with Revenue so that they can pay their taxes.

    Employment Rights

    Ukrainian refugees working in Ireland get the same rights as all other employees in the country. Ukrainian refugees working in Ireland under the temporary protection directive are considered legally employed workers. This means that they receive basic employment rights, including:

    • All employees will need to receive a written statement of the core terms of employment within five days of starting their employment. This has to include the name of the employee and employer, the address of the employer, the calculation of pay, and the number of hours that the employee is expected to work for a day or a week.
    • All employees need to receive a complete written statement of the terms of employment upon beginning their work.
    • All employees in Ireland will be entitled to at least a minimum hourly wage rate that applies to temporary, casual, part-time, full-time, and even seasonal workers. Those under 20 years of age have a reduced pay rate. Additionally, all employees need to receive a pay slip.
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    For help with the legalities of employing Ukrainian refugees, speak with our team. Contact us

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      What To Know About Employing Ukrainian Workers In Ireland


      Ukrainian citizens have the right to work in Ireland when they have their temporary protection permission letter. It is also possible for Ukrainians to work for themselves and access vocational training in Ireland.

      Those who enter Ireland can also apply for benefits, and those who are on Jobseeker’s Allowance must be available to take on and actively be looking for full-time work. While it is possible to claim benefits and work part-time, they should still be looking for full-time employment.

      There are assisting services, such as Intreo employment services, that help you find work.

      Income Support

      Ukrainians in Ireland can get work and claim Jobseekers Allowance at the same time. Yet, they are only able to work for a certain number of days, and their income must be below a certain amount for this to be possible.

      When working part-time or full-time, the individual needs to inform the Intreo Office of the circumstances that have changed.

      Creating An Employment Contract

      Due to the temporary protection directive, Ukrainians will be entitled to the full range of statutory employment rights and protections, just like other Irish workers. This means that all employees who work in Ireland, including Ukrainian employees, need to receive a written statement of the terms of their employment at the start of work.

      The contract they are given must include the following:

      • Employer name
      • Employee name
      • Employer address
      • Contact duration
      • Pay calculation
      • Total hours the employee is expected to work each day or week

      No Work Permit Needed

      Employers of Ukrainian nationals and their family members in Ireland do not need these employees to hold a work permit or a visa. The employee simply needs to have a permission letter to confirm that they have temporary protection through the EU directive.
      This grants them immediate access to the Irish labour market with no requirement for further permissions, such as a visa or work permit.

      Employers need to ensure that they take a copy of this letter of permission until there are more formal arrangements in place regarding protection status temporarily.

      Challenges Of Hiring Ukrainian Employees

      Some challenges may come from hiring Ukrainian workers in Ireland. There will be language barriers and cultural differences between the employer and employee.

      It is therefore important that employers are aware of services available to help integrate Ukrainian refugees into Ireland. Knowing how Ukrainian citizens can get support in learning English or to help them acclimatise to the culture in Ireland.

      Recruitment Services

      Employers should be aware of the resources and recruitment agencies available to Ukrainians.

      The citizen’s information service can provide Ukrainian refugees with comprehensive information on their rights and entitlements in the country as individuals under the temporary protection directive. This includes information regarding public services, education, social welfare income support, accommodation, employment, and healthcare.

      Business in the Community Ireland also holds a helpful guide for migrants who are seeking employment in Ireland.

      Pathways for Progress websites also have a lot of information to aid Ukrainian migrants in preparing for work in Irish workplaces. The website is also available in Ukrainian and Russian for those who are not fluent English speakers.


      Hiring Ukrainian refugees has many benefits. Ukrainians can help fill job vacancies and have a wide range of skills, which opens up the talent pool for employers in Ireland.

      Additionally, employers who hire Ukrainian employees should be financially supported by the government, according to Senator Garret Ahearn. While there has been no confirmation of this, it has been suggested, and Enterprise Ireland has taken up part of this in the programmes offered.

      Enterprise Ireland offers Jobs Plus and Skills to Work incentives, both of which encourage businesses to employ individuals who are on the Live Register, including refugees.

      Job Plus offers financial incentives to employers to hire Ukrainian refugees, while Skills to Work hopes to make it simpler for both employees and employers to know what skills initiatives the government can offer them.

      IF you are business wanting to employ Ukrainian refugees in Ireland, get advice from our team. Contact Us

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        Right-To-Work Checks

        There are no designated right-to-work checks for Ukrainians in Ireland. The only right-to-work check in place is for the employee to have their permission letter confirming they have temporary protection via the EU directive.

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        Refugees In Ireland: What You Need To Know

        Employers should know how Ukrainian refugees can be helped in Ireland. In cases where an employer hires a Ukrainian refugee and the individual is unaware of the helpful resources available to them, it can benefit the employer and employee equally to be aware of what resources there are to help.

        Resources A Ukrainian Employer Should Know


        When a refugee arrives in Ireland, they can apply for DSP income support, which is a payment for the refugee and any dependents. However, refugees first need a PPS number to apply for this, which can be applied for upon entry to the country or at a local Intreo centre.


        Ukrainian refugees should tell immigration officers upon arrival that they need a place to stay. However, there is a shortage of accommodation, and therefore some may need to stay in tented accommodation, a community centre, or a sports group.

        Ukrainian employees who do not have secure employment can find help and resources; however, gaining employment can help in finding a more long-term accommodation solution.


        Ireland has its own public health service (HSE), and anyone who enters Ireland under the temporary protection directive can apply for a medical card. This enables Ukrainian refugees to visit a doctor for free and access additional health services, obtaining medicines at a reduced cost.


        Refugees who are searching for work can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance to aid in the search for full-time work. However, the Intreo employment services can also help. Through this, individuals can do the following:

        • Talk to employment support officers at a local branch office.
        • Go to employment support events organised for Ukrainians nearby.
        • Find vacancies and apply for jobs using the online website.

        Ukrainians who are searching for work upon entering the country need to register and have any qualifications recognised to work in certain professions. This means a refugee with qualifications as a doctor will need to register with the Medical Council to do so.

        Taxes And Finances

        Those who enter the country will need to open a bank account, and to do this, identification is required.

        Ukrainians who travel to Ireland for safety but continue to work remotely for a Ukrainian employer do not need to pay Irish income tax on income from this employer.

        However, if a Ukrainian has travelled to Ireland for safety and works for an Irish employer, they must pay income tax on their earnings. What needs to be done in these cases will depend on the individual’s situation.

        • If the individual works for an Irish employer,
        • If the individual lives in Ireland but works for a Ukrainian employer.
        • If the individual is self-employed.

        The employer will set up income tax, USC, and PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) if an employee works for an Irish employer. This is done as the employee provides the employer with their PPSN, enabling them to register the job with Revenue. Once the job is registered with Revenue, the employer can then deduct the correct amounts for tax, USC, and PRSI.

        How Can IAS Help?

        Although Ukrainians working in Ireland do not face many legalities, and while the process is fairly simple, there are some aspects that employers should be aware of. The lack of a work permit is key to remember, and the process of hiring Ukrainian refugees is fairly simple.

        However, employers should be aware of the unique situation that these refugees face, as some may not be English speakers or may have struggles regarding accommodation. Being aware of this and knowing how, as an employer, you can aid the individual’s integration into Ireland is very important.

        This is why it can be useful to speak to a legal advisor here at IAS. Our legal team can inform you of the benefits and complexities of hiring a Ukrainian refugee and inform you of the ‘need-to-know’ factors in the process. Give us a call at +353 061 518 025 or reach out to us online today, to get started with hiring Ukrainian refugees.

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