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Press Release

MRCI responds to Government review of labour migration policy

By 28 September 2018February 4th, 2020No Comments

Today Minister Heather Humphreys published a Review of Ireland’s Economic Migration Policy.

MRCI (Migrant Rights Centre Ireland) Director Edel McGinley said, “This is a timely review, given Ireland’s economic growth and burgeoning labour shortages, and a welcome recognition of labour migration as a cornerstone of Ireland’s economy.”

“MRCI welcomes the commitment to fighting exploitation and to greater transparency in the assessment of occupations eligible for work permits, along with the pragmatic decision that relevant departments will now take the lead on changes to this list of occupations.”

“Current and projected trends show that we urgently need a work permit for care workers of all kinds. We hope the proposed reforms will result in positive change for the care sector, including supporting those who choose to be cared for at home.”

McGinley continued, “We are however concerned that the review favours industry demands over worker rights. We welcome the planned introduction of cross-departmental workers’ rights information campaigns, but these must be accompanied by resources for enforcement and compliance to protect all workers.

Of particular concern is the proposed introduction of Seasonal Permits. In past experience in Ireland and across Europe, seasonal permits can be difficult to monitor and workers on these permits are at greater risk of exploitation. It is extremely important that there is a procedure to change to longer-term permits if work is available.”

McGinley concluded, “Finally, it is unfortunate that this review has not taken into account a pool of labour already in the state: undocumented migrants working in communities across Ireland. These workers are currently unable to apply for work permits – a waste of a skilled and experienced group of employees.”


Aoife Murphy 01 5241454 /


Original MRCI submission to the Government review process:

Department press release:

Full review: