The trade union IMPACT said today that the high cost of registration for social workers is a tax on employment.
Some 400 social workers and healthcare professionals are meeting in Dublin today to discuss the new registration process, which is due to come into effect next year.
From the end of next May, social workers will not be able to practice unless they are registered.
IMPACT, the trade union which represents some 3,000 social workers, stated that the cost of registration is too high at €295, compared to around €90 for nurses and teachers.
The union is advising social workers to delay registration for the time being.
"We very much welcome statutory registration, in fact IMPACT has campaigned to have it introduced over the years," said IMPACT spokesperson Bernard Harbour.
"But we were shocked to find that the Department of Health was setting the fee at €295. This is almost four times what a nurse has to pay to register.
"We don't see a justification for that and we don't think that that's fair
"We've been in discussions with the Department of Health, and we will be continuing with that over the coming months."