Dáil Éireann - Volume 607 - 11 October, 2005

Written Answers. - Departmental Investigations.

  264. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the level of inspections his officials are undertaking to ensure foreign workers employed by contractors or other businesses are awarded the proper negotiated pay rates for the job; the number of inspections; the number of non-compliance cases; the actions taken in respect of these cases over the past six months and the way in which this compares with the same period in 2004. [27783/05]

[614]   Mr. Killeen: No distinction is made in employment rights legislation between Irish and migrant workers. For the avoidance of doubt, section 20 of the Protection of Employee’s (Part-Time) Work Act 2001 provides that all employee protection legislation on the Statute Book in Ireland applies to workers posted to work in Ireland in line with Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 16 December 1996. This directive relates to the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and applies also to a person, irrespective of his or her nationality or place of residence, who has entered into a contract of employment that provides for his or her being employed in the State or who works in the State under a contract of employment. Thus, all employee legislation applies to migrant workers.

The number of workplace inspections-visits undertaken by the labour inspectorate in the period April to September 2005 was 2,126. Breaches were detected in 306 of those cases. The number of workplace inspections-visits undertaken during the same period in 2004 was 1,947. Breaches were detected in 315 cases. The primary function of the labour inspectorate is to seek compliance and rectification of any breaches identified, including payment of arrears due to employees. An important measure, therefore, of the effectiveness of the inspectorate is to examine the arrears of pay collected on behalf of employees. During the past six months the recoveries were €247,770, while the recoveries for the period April to September 2004 amounted to €374,380. Earlier this year several key staff members, including three inspectors, were dedicated almost exclusively to one major investigation. As a consequence of that work, and inputs from the Labour Relations Commission and Labour Court, significant adjustments in pay were secured for a number of non-national employees.