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Ireland’s New Employment Laws Grant Flexibility: Work Permit Holders Now Permitted to Change Fields of Work

Dublin: The Irish Dáil has given its nod to the new Employment Permit Bill, signalling positive developments for foreign immigrants, particularly General Employment Permit holders in Ireland. The legislation, now pending approval from the Upper House and the President, introduces several benefits.

A noteworthy provision allows individuals with critical skills and general employment work permits to transition to different job sectors after nine months. For instance, someone arriving in Ireland on a health care assistant work permit can explore opportunities in other fields if they possess relevant qualifications, work experience, and certifications. The Department of Enterprises will facilitate this process with minimal costs upon approval from the offering company or institution.

Previously, work permits confined individuals to the same occupational group. The amendment, reducing the time limit for changing employment from 12 to 9 months, is poised to benefit numerous migrant workers.
The Dáil has also sanctioned the issuance of seasonal employment permits across various sectors, with detailed regulations finalised after a three-hour deliberation on January 31.

Additionally, a significant change is on the horizon as the system allowing the simultaneous acquisition of a Critical Skill/General Employment Work Permit and visa will be operational within a few months, eliminating the need for prolonged waiting periods post-work permit approval.

Emphasising family reunification, Enterprise Minister Neale Richmond assured that the Justice Department will review and modify family reunification policies in line with the new labour regulations.

Addressing healthcare worker concerns, Minister Neale Richmond acknowledged the challenges faced by general employment applicants in the healthcare sector during a meeting with representatives of Overseas Healthcare and Home Care Ireland. Plans are underway to streamline funding to nursing homes to meet the government’s 30,000 euro threshold, facilitating family reunification for healthcare assistants. The minister confirmed these initiatives during a meeting attended by representatives from the Indian community, including Irish Malayali News Editor Reggie C. Jacob, Hima Peter from Mater Hospital, and Preeti Krishnakumar from Clara, Tullamore, along with officials from various departments.

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