Today, (25th Nov 2021), the Employment Permits (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2021, tabled by Gino Kenny T.D, is being debated in the Dáil – 8.00pm – 9.45pm. The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) welcomes its key provisions.
Throughout the pandemic, essential workers have been picking, packing, putting food on our tables, and caring for our loved ones. There is a renewed demand for such essential workers in Ireland. But little has been done by the Government to recognise their contribution and provide people with fundamental rights.
Edel McGinley, MRCI Director, said “Putting rights in the hands of workers allows people to have control over their lives. Any changes to the current employment permit system that allow workers to more easily change employer should be supported by the Oireachtas. Change in this area is long overdue to protect workers from exploitation.”
She continued, “Employers bringing people to Ireland on employment permits should also be required to provide a decent company sick pay scheme to workers especially as these workers have no access to illness benefit from the state in their first year.”
There is another bill (General Scheme of the Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill, 2019) currently being progressed by the Government aimed to increase flexibility of the system.
McGinley said “increasing flexibility while leaving workers vulnerable and with limited rights and options is irresponsible and dangerous, and could lead to more exploitation. We can and must give better rights to general employment permits holders including access to the labour market after two years instead of five to protect people from exploitation.”
Note to Editor
People Before Profit Summary Bill
Government Head of Bill – General Scheme of the Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill, 2019