Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (348)

Noel Harrington

Question:

358 Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Social Protection the State agencies and bodies within the remit of her Department that have the power to enter or search premises in the course of an investigation; if they need a search warrant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35320/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

Under Section 18 of the Pensions Act 1990, the Pensions Board has the power to enter the premises of any employer, trustee, registered administrator, personal retirement savings account (PRSA) provider or agent and make such examination or inquiry as may be necessary to determine whether the provisions of the Pensions Act are being complied with. Where the premises is a private dwelling (e.g. where the employer carries on his business from home) a search warrant from the District Court is required to authorise such an entry. Otherwise there is no requirement to have a search warrant.

In addition, Social welfare inspectors of the Department are empowered under section 250 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, to enter any place where a business is being carried out to check if the business has employed persons, these persons are recorded as employed persons and the employer is complying with the Social Welfare Acts.