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Employment Agencies

Under the Employment Agency Act 1971, an Employment Agency must hold a licence if it is to carry on its business. The Act and Regulations made thereunder regulate the issuing of an Employment Agency Licence.

This licence is renewed on a yearly basis at an annual fee of €500.

Garda Vetting

An applicant for a licence must, in the opinion of the Minister, be a person of good character and repute. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment verifies this by means of two independent references vouching for the good character of the applicant and by means of a Vetting Disclosure from the Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau that there is nothing in their records that would render the applicant unsuitable to hold an employment agency licence.

If an employment agency has a premises in the state, it must obtain a licence and, in order to obtain a licence, the premises must conform to the standards of accommodation prescribed by Regulations under the Employment Agency Act 1971 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, Act 2005. Applicants are required to complete a self-certifying ‘Health & Safety Requirements Statement’ (included with the application form).


It is an offence under the Act for an employment agency to carry on business without an employment agency licence. Under section 10 (1) of the Employment Agency Act, 1971, as amended by section 19 of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003, a person guilty of an offence under the Act shall be liable on summary conviction to a Class C fine not exceeding €2,500 and in the case of a continuing offence to a further Class D fine not exceeding €1,000 a day.

A Licence may be revoked by the Minister if the holder -

a)  has been convicted of an offence under the Act,
b)  has given false information in their application,

or where, in the opinion of the Minister

  • the holder is no longer a suitable person to carry on the business of an employment agency, or
  • the premises where the holder is carrying out the business of an employment agency no longer conforms to the prescribed standards.


In order to ensure holders of Employment Agency Licences are in compliance with relevant legislation, Inspectors of the Workplace Relations Commission may, at all reasonable times -

  • enter and inspect any premises in which the business of an employment agency is being carried out or in respect of which an application for a licence under the Act has been made,
  • inspect such books and records relating to the business of the agency as are  required to be kept under the Act, and, where he/she has reasonable grounds for believing that the Act has been or is being contravened, take copies of any entries in such books or records,
  • require any person carrying on the business of an employment agency or proposing to do so to furnish him/her with such information as he/she may reasonably require in order to ascertain whether or not the agency is being or likely to be conducted in accordance with the Act.

Applications for, or enquiries in relation to, agency licences and the renewal of licences may be emailed to

Or posted to

Licensing Section,
Workplace Relations Commission,
O’ Brien Road,
R93 E920

Tel. 059 917 8990 / 0818 808090