Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (125)

Conor Lenihan

Question:

238 Mr. C. Lenihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the plans she has regarding the work permit regime that she will apply to new accession states that will join the EU from May, during the Irish Presidency. [1202/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

The Employment Permits Act 2003, which came into force in April 2003, provides for the freedom of movement, for purposes of work, of nationals of the ten EU accession states after accession. This means that after EU enlargement on 1 May 2004, employers will no longer require work permits to employ nationals of these states. Accordingly, a very significant source of potential labour will become available to Irish employers outside the work permit system, which should be of considerable benefit to employers who have not been able to find appropriate staff within the existing Irish or wider EEA labour markets.