Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Questions (88)

Mary Upton

Question:

131 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of inspections carried out by the labour inspectorate; the number of prosecutions initiated by the inspectorate in respect of the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and to date in 2006; if there are plans to increase this number during the remainder of 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18220/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

The number of workplace inspections/visits undertaken by the Labour Inspectorate (during and after normal business hours) and prosecutions initiated in respect of the years 2002 to 2005 and to date in 2006 are set out in the tabular statement below.

The primary function of the Labour Inspectorate is to seek compliance and rectification of any breaches identified, including payment of any arrears due to employees. Inspectors pursue allegations of worker mistreatment and seek redress for the individual/s concerned and, if appropriate, a prosecution is initiated. Successful prosecution can be dependent on adequate support from witnesses.

Since November 2005 the number of Labour Inspectors assigned and serving has been increased to thirty-one Officers. As part of the programme of work implemented to train the new Inspectors their schedule included a focus on National Minimum Wage compliance, which commenced in February 2006. In addition to the new Inspectors a number of experienced Officers are participating in this exercise in order to provide support and guidance as well as undertaking inspections themselves. It is expected that the additional resources and the focused campaign will substantially increase the number of inspections/visits carried out in 2006.

Year

Inspections/Visits

Prosecutions Initiated

2002

8,323

25

2003

7,168

20

2004

5,160

14

2005

5,719

25

2006

5,799 (to date)

7 (to date)

Question No. 132 answered with QuestionNo. 126.