Recruitment Body wants Employment Taxes that Attract and Reward

Donal O'Donoghue, President, Geraldine King, CEO, Employment & Recruitment Federation

by HRHQ Editorial Team

The ERF (Employment & Recruitment Federation) 2024 Budget submission highlights the need for employment taxes that attract and reward, combined with investment in building labour market skills, and in reskilling, to address what it calls a growing crisis in the Irish economy’s ‘talent’ space.

Unemployment in Ireland is back at 4.1%, its lowest since 2001, and, apart from the inflationary pressure on pay, most employers, including the public service sector, are hard-pressed to find workers, according to ERF President, Donal O’Donoghue.

“We have insufficient affordable housing, childcare provision, and public services in sectors like healthcare and education. These social issues are a product of the talent shortage, and are also, in turn, major contributors to the diminishing workforce.”

To address essential skills shortages and prioritise sectors in need, the work permit and visa system needs further simplification and reform, according to the ERF recommendations. Similarly, investing in English language training for migrants seeking employment will improve their employability, and integration in the workforce, and significantly benefit the economy, the budget submission reads.

Ireland’s high marginal personal tax rates, especially for top earners, is hindering economic growth and talent attraction, the ERF submission reads. Reducing the overall level of the 52% marginal tax rate, and revising the entry point before it applies, will make Ireland more competitive on the global talent stage, recruiters believe.

Acknowledging that it is vital to broaden the tax base, to allow for increased public spending, targeting various exemptions and credits is recommended, along with more streamlined cost-effective revenue collection.

The submission calls for a 5-year roadmap for substantial reform of income tax code, PRSI code, and Universal Social Charge (USC), to reassure employers and support FDI.