Doctors providing Locum Services in the Hospital Sector


Doctors employed and paid by an Agency


General information:

  • All applications for permission to undertake locum work under the Atypical Working Scheme, must be made from outside the State.
  • Doctors intending to find work as a locum must state whether they intend to work in the Primary Care Health Sector (General Practice) or if they intend to work in a hospital. Permission granted will cover one of these categories only. Doctors are not permitted to work in both categories.
  • Locum work may not be undertaken in conjunction with an Employment Permit.
  • Doctors holding an Employment Permit may not apply under the Atypical Working Scheme to work as a locum doctor unless they have been outside the State for at least 6 months following the expiry or surrender of the Employment Permit. An application under the Atypical Working Scheme must be submitted and approved before the doctor re-enters the State.
  • Doctors must be registered with one Agency only. The onus rests on Agencies to ensure compliance with this requirement.
  • Agencies may not register on their books a doctor who holds an Employment Permit. 



  • A doctor must be in receipt of an offer of employment from a hospital before an application is submitted.
  • One “block” permission of 6 months will be granted during which time the doctor may undertake work as a locum as required in the Hospital Sector only.
  • Only one “block” 6-month permission will be granted in a 12 month period. On expiry of the 6-month permission the doctor must either leave the State for 6 months (from expiry date of the 6 month permission regardless of how long within that time frame the doctor was actually present in the State), or apply for an Employment Permit. The Employment Permit must be applied for and received within the 6 month timeframe (INIS Letter of Approval should be included with the Employment Permit application – allow 3 weeks’ application processing time).
  • On expiry, or surrender, of an Employment Permit a doctor must either apply for a subsequent Employment Permit or, if he/she wishes to undertake work as a locum under the Atypical Working Scheme, leave the State for a minimum of 6 months before returning in that capacity. The Atypical Working Scheme application seeking permission to do so must be made and approved before the doctor re-enters the State. A letter of approval issued under the Atypical Working Scheme will remain valid for 90 days from date of issue. If not used within that time, a fresh application will be required under this scheme and a new application fee will also apply.


Back to main Atypical working scheme: General web page.