Work Permits Checklist

The recent High Court judgment of Hussein v The Labour Court & Younis on the Employment Permits Act 2003 to 2006 has brought the issue of work permits back into the spotlight. This case was an appeal by the employer against a €92,000 award by the Labour Court to a Pakistani employee over employment law breaches while working in an Indian restaurant in Dublin. The High Court quashed the decision of the Labour Court on the basis that his employment was unlawful as he did not have a valid work permit. The Labour Court award could not be upheld as there was no valid employment relationship between the parties. The employee Mr. Younis had claimed that he worked an 11 hour day, 7 days a week for a wage well under the national minimum wage rate at 55c per hour. As Mr. Younis did not have a valid work permit he had committed an offence under the Employment Permits Act 2003 and the contract of employment was therefore void. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan stated that his decision would have important policy implications and he was referring the matter to the Ceann Comhairle of the Dail and Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise as a matter of urgency. The Government has confirmed it will review the decision and decide on the action to be taken. It is likely that this review will also bring in to focus the obligation on employers to ensure that their employees are working under valid employment permits. An employer who employs an employee without a valid employment permit is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of up to €250,000 and/or 10 years’ imprisonment. It is a defence for the employer to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the legislation.


Linda Hynes, employment law solicitor with Ogier Leman has prepared a handy checklist to remind employers of the different type of permits available and when they apply. Please click here to access the checklist


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