This paper assesses the impact of the 'decoupling' reform of the Common Agricultural Policy on the labour allocation decisions of Irish farmers. The agricultural household decision-making model provides the conceptual and theoretical framework to examine the interaction between government subsidies and farmers' time allocation decisions. The relationship postulated is that 'decoupling' of agricultural support from production would probably result in a decline in the return to farm labour but it would also lead to an increase in household wealth. The effect of these factors on how farmers allocate their time is tested empirically using labour participation and labour supply models. The models developed are sufficiently general for application elsewhere. The main findings for the Irish situation are that the decoupling of direct payments is likely to increase the probability of farmers participating in the off-farm employment market and that the amount of time allocated to off-farm work will increase. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 The Agricultural Economics Society.