Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (78)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

73 Mr. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps her Department is taking to ensure that the alleged gangmaster system of providing immigrant labour is not permitted to operate in the economy here following the recent very tragic death of Chinese migrant workers while cockle picking in the UK. [7353/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

In this country, work permits are generally granted to specific employers to employ specific employees to fill specific vacancies. This ensures a direct link between employer and employee and facilitates enforcement of employment law.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will not knowingly grant work permits to facilitate the hiring out of individuals as a form of contract labour and would be most interested in seeing any evidence to the effect that this might be happening in any sector.

Any issue relating to non-EEA nationals working illegally is a matter for Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Garda National Immigration Bureau.