Written Answers. - Diplomatic Missions.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

21 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of non-Irish and non-diplomatic staff employed in each Irish embassy; the position in which each of these persons is employed; the range of duties assigned to each person; the nationality of each of these persons; if each of these persons receives a wage or salary which meets the requirements of the Irish minimum wages legislation; if not, if each person receives a wage or salary which meets the requirements of similar legislation or regulations applicable in the country in which the embassy is located; the annual leave entitlement of each such person; the general terms of employment applicable to such persons; if he is satisfied that the Government is not exploiting such staff; if all embassies are model employers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3740/02]

Approximately 265 full-time and part-time staff are locally employed at 66 Irish diplomatic missions. They are assigned to the normal range of mission administrative, clerical, secretarial and consular duties. The terms of employment, including leave, of all locally employed staff are set in accordance with local practice and the employment laws and regulations of the host state, rather than Irish legislation. In this regard, salary scales are maintained in line with those offered by the local embassies as well as similar local public and private sector employment. They are adjusted on a regular basis to take account of local inflation.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Department does not use nationality as a recruitment criterion. Accordingly, no records in regard to the nationality of local staff are kept. I am not aware of any suggestion that any of our diplomatic missions has not been adhering to best local employment practices or that the conditions of employment are less than satisfactory.