We believe that every person coming to live and work in Ireland should have the same set of basic rights and the opportunity to progress and live in dignity. Unfortunately, this is not the case for people on General Employment Permits, who must wait five years before they have the right to freely change employers, making it extremely difficult to challenge exploitation, bullying and unsafe working conditions.
Making Employment Permits Fairer
About Our Campaign
Ireland needs Essential Workers
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 and Ireland needs people to come here to work.
But despite a new appreciation of the role of these workers, little has been done by the Government to recognise their contribution and provide them with fundamental rights.
Now is the time to act
Right now, the Government is considering a new piece of legislation, the General Scheme of the Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill, 2019, which aims to make the employment permits system more responsive and flexible to the needs of the labour market.
However, increasing the flexibility of the system while leaving workers vulnerable and with limited rights and options is irresponsible and dangerous, and could lead to more exploitation and to people becoming undocumented.
This is why MRCI is calling for changes to this legislation to enable workers to better protect themselves and make the system fairer.
What we are calling for
The Government has the power to recognise the contribution of essential workers and fight exploitation by simply providing people on General Employment Permits the same rights as those on Critical Skills Permits.
This would mean General Employment Permit holders would have the right to freely change employers after two years instead of five which would enable them to better challenge exploitation and sub-standard conditions.
In addition, it would mean equal rights to have their immediate family with them in Ireland and the right for their family members to work.