Being Retained On The Irish System

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What does being retained on the Irish system mean?

You can become a posted worker and retained on the Irish system if your employer/sending agency meets certain criteria. Being retained means that you are liable for PRSI contributions while you are working overseas.

What conditions do I have to meet to be a posted worker?
You must be employed temporarily outside the State; Your employer/sending agency must be resident in Ireland or have a place of business in the state; You must be subject to Irish social insurance prior to being posted; You must remain under the direct control of your employer/sending agency for the duration of your posting

When you say I can only be employed temporarily outside the State, how long does this mean?

Normally a person can be retained on the Irish social insurance system for up to 12 months but extensions can be granted for up to five years.

What is the cost of PRSI to my sending agency and me?

The PRSI contributions that you make are based on a percentage of your gross earnings.

A Ready Reckoner is available here.

Do I have to earn a minimum amount to be retained?

Yes. Your gross earnings while overseas have to be high enough to attract liability for PRSI.

If I am retained, how do I pay the PRSI and how is it collected?

If you are a posted worker, the Special Collection Section of the Department of Social and Family Affairs collects PRSI due.

The employee’s share of PRSI is automatically deducted from your earnings at source and is payable to the Special Collection Section by way of an end of year return made by your employer/sending agency which is due by 15 February after the end of the year in which it is due.

I would like to be retained on the Irish system, what do I have to do?

You may want to talk to the Special Collection Section first for further information then talk to your employer/sending agency to see if they will consider retaining you on the Irish system as a posted worker. If you go ahead, your sending agency will apply to the Special Collection to retain you under national legislation.

What is Comhlámh’s role in being retained?

Comhlámh does not have an explicit role in development workers being retained on the Irish system.

We raise awareness amongst development workers and volunteers going on assignment that this may be an option open to you to protect your special welfare rights. We also lobby sending agencies to consider retaining their volunteers under their duty of care.

Where can I find out more about being retained?

Special Collection Section
Telephone: (051) 356 010/356 011


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