You’ve moved all the way to Ireland to work. You’ve set yourself up, put the kids into school, and made a host of financial commitments – electricity bills, phone contracts and rental agreements.
Then you lose your job. What do you do?
It’s not the end of the road. Even if you are not an Irish citizen, you have rights and entitlements that can help you stay on your feet while you fix your situation.
Staying in Ireland
EEA & Swiss Nationals
First of all, you can stay. If you are an EEA or Swiss national, you can stay in Ireland, unemployed and looking for work.
If you a non-EEA national, you can stay too – so long as you have an employment permit. Make sure that you notify the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation within 28 days of your dismissal. If you have been working on an employment permit for more than five consecutive years, you no longer need a permit to work in Ireland.
Irish employers must follow a specific procedure to make their workers redundant. It’s a good idea to check that your situation is a genuine redundancy case. If it isn’t, you might be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. If it is, and you have been working for your employer for two or more years, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment.
Social welfare payments
There are two main social welfare payments for jobseekers in Ireland – Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Jobseeker’s Benefit is for people who have lost their job or been made redundant. To be eligible you must be unemployed, looking for work, and have paid a certain number of social insurance contributions (PRSI). If you are an EEA migrant, you may be able to combine Jobseeker’s Benefit with a social welfare payment from your home country. Non-EEA migrants are eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit if they are legally resident in Ireland.
If you haven’t made enough social insurance contributions, or you are otherwise ineligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit, you may still be eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is a means-tested payment, meaning the amount you are paid will depend on your wealth. To receive Jobseeker’s Allowance payments, you must be unemployed, looking for work, pass a means test and be habitually resident in Ireland.
Supplementary Welfare Allowance and Rent Supplement
If you are not receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit, you are habitually resident in Ireland, and you are actively looking for work, you may be eligible for the Supplementary Welfare Allowance. If you have been working in Ireland for less than 12 months, you can receive it for six months from the date your employment ended. If you have been employed for more than 12 months, you can claim this payment indefinitely – so long as you are looking for work.
The Rent Supplement can help you meet payments to a private landlord.
If you paid tax while you were working you may be entitled to a refund.
Migrant Support in Ireland
No matter what happens, you are never alone. There are a host of organisations that can help you through difficult times in Dublin. Check the Citizens Information site for organisations that can support you.