Fishing Companies and the ‘A typical Working Scheme’

If you are an owner of commercial fishing vessel or a Non-EEA fisherman working on a boat in Ireland, then you need to consider whether the Atypical Working Scheme applies to you and if it does take the necessary steps to make sure you can comply before the deadline date of the 15th May 2016 passes.


What is the Scheme?

The Atypical Working Scheme allows nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to apply to work under short term contracts in Ireland. Where successful, the non-EEA national will be granted a permit to work here.

The Irish fishing industry has been given a short window of opportunity to organise its affairs so that from the 15th of February to the 15th of May 2016, non-EEA fishermen and women working in Ireland can apply under the scheme while in Ireland. After this period, applications will only be accepted from outside the State.

This is an important consideration for employers of these non-EEA nationals working in the Irish fishing industry as there will be consequences for employing such an individual following the passing of the deadline.

How to Apply under the Scheme

This is a three stage process:

1. The first stage involves the pre-approval of the application. Here, a solicitor acting for the employer fishing company must certify that the proposed contract of employment satisfies all Irish and EU employment law. Additionally, the solicitor must certify that the proposed employer is the owner of the vessel or vessels in question. Confirmation must also be given in respect of safety training and numbers of EU Member State nationals who are also employed.

2. The second stage is the application for the Atypical Working Permit itself. Here an application form needs to be filled out. However, this can only be done following the completion of the pre-approval stage, with the aid of a solicitor.

3. The third stage only applies to those workers who require a visa to work in Ireland. This can only be started after approval has been obtained from the previous step.

The Deadline Dates

The key date to keep in mind is the 15th of May 2016. Following this, applications under the Atypical Working Scheme will not be accepted from within Ireland. This period has been offered to allow non-EEA nationals who already work in Ireland to make an application without the need to first leave the State.

Possible Effects of Non-Compliance

Failure to make an application under the Atypical Working Scheme before the 15th of May 2016 will result in the illegal employment of a Non-EEA national in Ireland. This could result in the employer of the illegal worker being found guilty of a criminal charge.

Next Steps

The deadline for applications is fast approaching and there is a pre-approval stage which must first be completed before the application itself can be made. We would urge all registered licence holders of sea-fishing boats to carefully review the terms of the Scheme and the individuals they have working for them and contact us without delay should they need assistance in completing applications.

For further information please contact:

Fishing Companies and the ‘A typical Working Scheme’

John Sheehan

Phone: +353 21 7300200