How social security and unemployment work in Ireland


Ireland offers many job opportunities. As home to major international companies, it’s no wonder that the number of people looking for work is increasing every day. However, whether you have already been hired or are looking for a job in the Emerald Isle, you should know something important. We are referring to unemployment and Social Security in Ireland. 

Being in Spain and knowing the labour laws, how they apply and what to do in case of unemployment is not the same as being in another country. That is why we will explain unemployment benefits in Ireland to the Spanish unemployment benefit. This way, you can be much more relaxed about working in Ireland and enjoy the opportunities that this country has to offer.

How Irish Social Security works

Travelling to Ireland for work is a great opportunity that you should make the most of. However, you should be aware of how social security works and how to claim unemployment benefits if you become unemployed. You should know that Ireland offers social security benefits that are applicable if you have been paying contributions in Ireland. 

To begin with, Social Security in Ireland is known as the Department of Social Welfare. Through its Pay-related-social-insurance (PRSI) system, social insurance linked to contributions is available. This system protects workers with benefits in special cases, as is the case in Spain. So if you have a situation ranging from disability, illness, unemployment, maternity or retirement, you have access. This will be deducted from your salary and if you are self-employed, you will pay it yourself.

What are unemployment benefits like in Ireland?

There are basically two types of benefits, unemployment assistance and unemployment benefit. You can apply for them if you are unemployed, but you must meet certain conditions. First of all, that you are available and able to work. But you must also prove that you are actively looking for full-time work. 

Unemployment benefit

If you are unemployed, you will get a sum based on the contributions you have made to PRSI. This will be for the time you have been working in Ireland. You must receive this benefit for less than 15 months. You must also have PRSI contributions (paid and credited) for 39 weeks. This must also be in the tax year in which you are claiming support.

Unemployment Assistance

This does not depend on your contributions, but on your means. This is an option if you are someone who is not entitled to unemployment benefit or if your time (15 months) has run out. Among the requirements you must be unemployed at least 3 days in a period of 6 consecutive days. You must have low income at the PRSI level, be under 66 years of age, be resident in Ireland and be capable of work. 

What Spanish unemployment benefit is like (and you are based in Ireland)

If you were already unemployed in Spain, it is possible to export your benefit for a maximum of 3 months. You must be registered with the SEPE for at least 4 weeks. You have to say when you will leave the country, as well as fill in the E-303 form. Once you are in Ireland, within 7 days you must register at a Public Employment Office there. 

However, if you have already found a job within 3 months, you will no longer be paid this allowance. If you do not find a job and you return before the stipulated time, you will continue to receive your benefits in Spain. Otherwise, if you do not find a job and you have already spent 3 months in Spain, this unemployment benefit will no longer be available to you.

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