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Benefits in Ireland

Mandatory Employee Benefits in Ireland




Personal retirement savings account (PRSA)


All companies, which either do not offer an occupational pension scheme or where employees must wait longer than six months to join the occupational pension scheme, must offer access to a PRSA.


There are no mandatory contributions by the employer, just access to a PRSA. It is up to the employee whether they join the PRSA or not. Access must be provided within six months of the employee starting employment.

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Non-Mandatory Employee Benefits in Ireland


Most common non-mandatory benefits in Ireland. As most of them are benefits in kind, they are subject to income tax, which employees need to pay. According to tax regulations, employees can receive up to two small non-cash benefits, tax free, each year. The combined value of the two benefits cannot exceed €1,000.


Cycle-to-work scheme


This is a government initiative that allows employers to sign up to a provider that offers employees an opportunity to purchase bikes and accessories utilising their gross income and hence saving on tax, PRSI and USC costs.


Employee assistance programme


This is a confidential counselling programme and information service that is available to all employees and their families.


Employer pension contribution


Contributing to pension schemes at independent funds is becoming more common for both employers and employees. If a pension scheme is approved under the relevant legislation, it may benefit from various tax concessions, subject to certain limits. In the upcoming years, Ireland will be rolling the possibility of auto-enrolment into pension funds.


Private Healthcare


All residents in Ireland are entitled to receive health care through the public health care system (Health Service Executive), funded by general taxation. However, many employers still offer their employees private health insurance. Since benefits in kind are taxable, they should be taken into consideration when calculating an employee's net take-home pay.


Life Assurance


Some employers offer employees life insurance after the probation period. This also represents a taxable benefit in kind.


Income Protection


Income protection provides a replacement income if an employee is unable to work due to an illness or injury. Employers commonly offer this benefit in Ireland. 


Paid Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave


Employees are not guaranteed pay during their maternity, paternity and adoption leave, although they may qualify for benefits from the Department of Social Protection.


Many employers provide for some level of compensation during that time. In addition, many employers offer extra time off on top of the statutory limit.


Gym Membership


In some companies, a gym membership is provided as an employee benefit. 


Dental and Vision Plan


Some private healthcare packages include dental and vision benefits.


Extra Holidays


Some companies give employees 4-8 extra days off free or offer the ability to purchase additional days.


Stock Options


The complexities of issuing options to employees in Ireland are intricate and subject to tax. Regulations are still in a grey area. For more information, get in touch with us directly.


Work Flexibility


Some companies offer compressed working weeks during the summer months, earlier finish on Fridays, flexible working hours and work from home options.


Training and Development Courses


Many companies offer training opportunities for their employees, whether that is through external providers or in-house. As long as the training directly links with the job a person is doing or what the business does, and helps facilitate work that is needed in the company, employees are exempt from paying tax on them. Another contribution related to training is tuition reimbursement.

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