Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 31 May, 2005
Written Answers. - Legislative Review.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
96. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made to date with regard to review of the Employment Agency Act 1971 as agreed under the Sustaining Progress agreement; if the proposed policy paper has been finalised and circulated; when this process will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18012/05]
Mr. Killeen Mr. Killeen
Mr. Killeen: As part of the Government’s commitments under Sustaining Progress, a review of the Employment Agency Act 1971 is being carried out by my Department. As part of this review, my Department published in May 2004 a discussion paper on the 1971 Act and requested submissions from the various interests in the sector, including the social partners. A total of nine submissions were received and were examined in detail by my Department.
My Department is currently finalising a policy paper and is also consulting with the Office of the Attorney General on some of the details. The policy paper will be circulated to the various interests for further comment in the coming weeks. Following this second round of consultations, my Department will draft the heads of a Bill and seek Government approval to have a Bill drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Government. I hope to publish the Bill by the end of the year.
 As part of this review, I am currently considering that, in future: employment agencies will be required to be registered with my Department rather than be licensed as at present. Overseas agencies supplying workers to work in Ireland will also be required to be registered with the Department; employment agencies will be required to comply with the terms of a statutory code of practice which will set out in detail, the practices and standards which agencies would be expected to follow. This code will in particular, set out the employment rights of agency workers; a statutory monitoring and advisory committee — representative of all the various interests in the sector — will be established. This committee will oversee the operation of the statutory code of practice and make recommendations to me as the Minister of State with responsibility for labour affairs in relation to revoking or suspending registration and-or the prosecution of agencies who breach the code; any employer who recruits a worker from an unregistered agency either from Ireland or overseas will be guilty of an offence and liable to prosecution.
Dáil Éireann 603 Written Answers. Legislative Review.