Dáil Éireann - Volume 589 - 07 October, 2004

Written Answers. - Work Permits.

  66. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of prosecutions initiated, in respect of each of the past five years, against non-nationals for working without a work permit and against employers for employing non-nationals without a work permit; the number of convictions obtained in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23662/04]

  Mr. Martin: Following the enactment of the Employment Permits Act on 10 April 2003, it is illegal to employ a non-EEA national without a work permit where one is required. Prior to this enactment, there were no offence categories to cover this issue. The Act introduced offences for both employers and employees if a non-EEA national is in employment without a valid work permit. Any prosecutions initiated under the Act are a matter for the Garda Síochána, which comes under the auspices of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

I am informed that the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has made inquiries with the Garda authorities but it has not been possible in the time frame allowable to obtain the statistical information requested. My colleague, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, will revert to the Deputy as soon as it is available.