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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2022-17/2408 Updated – measures in Ireland

Ukrainian refugees have full access to labour market, social services and benefits under Temporary Protection Directive

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 22 April 2022 – 22 April 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 May 2022 (updated 28 February 2023)

Background information

Under the Temporary Protection Directive, Ukrainian citizens, refugees from Ukraine, stateless people who lived in Ukraine and family members of these groups - who fled Ukraine on or after the 24 February - can work and access services and benefits in Ireland immediately.

They can also live in Ireland for one year under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Content of measure

On 5 May 2022, Minister for for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman said that more than 27,300 Ukrainians had arrived in Ireland with 18,000 of those requiring accommodation from the State.

In March the Government established three hubs in different cities to support newly arriving Ukrainian nationals. The ‘Ukraine Support Centres’ in Dublin, Cork and Limerick have been established to assist Ukrainians in obtaining Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers (this is a unique reference number that is needed to access social welfare benefits and public services), availing of Social Welfare income supports, and receiving referrals to other State services.

Of these 27,300 people, it is reported that up to 80% are women or children and the majority of children are primary school age or younger.

Approximately 14,000 are of working age and 1,380 now have at least one job. The majority of these jobs, 732, are in the accommodation and food sector, with 234 jobs in wholesale and retail, according to the figures from the Revenue reported in the Irish Times.

Barriers to recognition of professional qualifications by Irish accrediting bodies, lack of childcare and unstable accommodation are proving to be barriers to labour market access for newly arrived Ukrainians, according to a report in the Irish Times.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

16 February 2023

A new survey of 300 Ukrainians based in Ireland, has found that 83% of Ukrainian people employed in Ireland are not working in their primary domain or speciality.

The main obstacles to finding work were lack of English, lack of recognition of qualifications and an absence of vacancies in the area of residence.

The survey was carried out by 'United For Changes', a Ukrainian employment support group in Ireland and was co-funded by the United For Changes, the European Commission, Irish Refugee Council and Dogpatch Labs.

31 December 2022

The Irish Times reported in December that about 300 Ukrainian doctors have registered with the Irish Medical Council but that a high proportion do not have fluent English which is delaying their ability to start working as doctors in Ireland.

“As part of a package of measures funded by the HSE to help the doctors work here, language classes will be offered from January. The aim will be to get them to the point where they can demonstrate their proficiency in internationally recognised exams”, according to the article.

10 September 2022

According to the Irish Times, Ukrainian doctors will be allowed “observe” in Irish hospitals while waiting to be registered to practise here.

The Health Service Executive says it is developing a plan to allow doctors awaiting registration to undertake supervised, unpaid “observerships” in hospitals and other health services across the country.

Use of measure

A report published in the Irish Times said: There are 7,155 people from Ukraine at work in at least one job, according to figures from the Revenue. The figures that as of 15 August, a total of 8,083 employments have been registered by 3,223 employers. The 7,155 people in work, some with multiple jobs, are individuals who have an active employment under the Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the war in Ukraine. They do not include Ukrainian nationals who may have been in employment in Ireland prior to the outbreak of the war. The accommodation and food services sector has the highest number of jobs filled by Ukrainian refugees, with 3,587 in employment across hotels, restaurants and pubs. The figures show 1,098 jobs in the wholesale and retail sector being filled by Ukrainians as well as 660 jobs in manufacturing. Some 548 Ukrainians are working in administrative and support services and 359 are in construction.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
EU (Council, EC, EP)
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions



  • 24 March 2022: Minister Humphreys announces the opening of 3 new city centre hubs to support Ukrainian families (
  • 22 April 2022: Employment rights in Ireland: Information for Ukrainian nationals (
  • 01 May 2022: Employment Rights in Ireland – Information for Ukrainian Nationals (
  • 01 May 2022: Coming to Ireland from Ukraine (
  • 05 May 2022: More than 27,300 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland to date, says Minister (
  • 07 May 2022: Why highly skilled Ukrainians are struggling to find work in Ireland (
  • 22 August 2022: More than 7,100 Ukrainian refugees now in employment in Ireland (
  • 10 September 2022: HSE to create more ‘observer’ roles for Ukrainian refugee doctors in Ireland (
  • 31 December 2022: Ukrainian doctors given pathway to work in Ireland, including targeted English lessons (
  • 16 February 2023: 83% of Ukrainians employed here not working in their specialty (


Eurofound (2022), Ukrainian refugees have full access to labour market, social services and benefits under Temporary Protection Directive, measure IE-2022-17/2408 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.