Labour Market and Competitiveness

Businesses in the Experience Economy, as highlighted earlier, are significant employers in the wider Irish economy, with over 330,000 jobs supported either directly or indirectly.

The Ibec survey of Experience Economy firms shows that 77% of respondents view rising labour costs as a risk to their business, while some leading employers in the wider Experience Economy sector have similarly highlighted the challenge of increased labour costs to business operations.

Policy Recommendations:

Commit to a new “Competitiveness Charter”.

Commit to a new “Competitiveness Charter” setting an annual ceiling on the total amount of additional labour market costs which will be imposed on business in any single year. In addition, reduce red tape through tackling state-imposed costs and overhauling non-labour regulations on the Experience Economy.

Introduce a PRSI rebate.

Introduce a PRSI rebate for the most exposed companies most impacted by labour costs, supports provided should include increasing the top-rate employer PRSI threshold above the new living wage annually and the introduction of a temporary PRSI rebate based on the number of lower earning workers on a company’s payroll, relative to the increases in weekly labour costs which will occur in 2024, 2025 and 2026. The PRSI support scheme would be based on a rebate for each worker below an agreed earnings threshold. This could be operated through Revenues PAYE Modernisation (PMod) system in much the same way as the EWSS and other schemes have been in the recent past.

Provide supports for recruitment, education, and training for potential employees from untapped pools of talent.

This will develop a more resilient and diverse talent pool.

To embed competitiveness and attract an international workforce to Ireland’s Experience Economy, schemes and qualifying conditions for mobile workers with skills in high demand should be improved.

Schemes and qualifying conditions for mobile workers with skills in high demand (i.e., chefs) should be improved to embed competitiveness in our Experience Economy and attract an international workforce. The timely administration of garda/security vetting for potential employees will ensure delays in recruitment are minimised.