Dáil Éireann - Volume 566 - 13 May, 2003

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

  171. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when he proposes to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 to ensure that the rights of domestic workers are protected. [12855/03]

  Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The Government has approved the drafting of legislation to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 to give effect to three EU equality directives namely, Directives 2000/43/EC-Race Directive, 2000/78/EC-Framework Employment Directive and 2002/73/EC-Gender Equal Treatment Directive. It is proposed, in the context of implementation of the directives, to amend the current exclusion from the provisions of the Employment Equality Act 1998 in respect of employment in private households. The Government is committed in the new partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, to have the amending legislation enacted as soon as possible.

  However, the broader issue of the working conditions of domestic workers is not fundamentally an issue of equality. Statutory employment rights and protections apply to domestic workers in exactly the same manner as they apply to all other workers. This legislation is a matter for the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.