Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (54)

David Stanton

Question:

53 Mr. Stanton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the most recent reviews of the employment agencies sector that has taken place; the actions she intends to take or has taken on regulating or monitoring the activities of employment agencies; the number of employment agencies currently licensed; the number of licences which have not been renewed in each of the past five years and the reasons for such non-renewal; the number of such licences which have been revoked in each of the past five years and the reasons for such revoking; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8099/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

Under the current social partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, the Government gave a commitment to review the Employment Agency Act 1971, which currently regulates the activities of employment agencies. A discussion document addressing the various options that might be considered for the regulation of employment agencies and their recruitment and placement activities is being finalised by my Department. The discussion document will be circulated shortly to all interested parties for their views, to be followed by meetings aimed at seeking a consensus on the most appropriate approach to adopt.

The current number of licensed employment agencies is 420. My Department does not have figures for the number of employment agency licences which have not been renewed in each of the past five years. However, when agency licences which are issued on a yearly basis fall due for renewal, my Department issues application forms for a licence to the agency in question six weeks in advance of the expiry date of the licence.

In the main, the reason for non-renewal of licences is that the employment agencies in question have ceased to trade. No employment agency licences have been revoked in the past five years.