Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (79)

Seán Kenny

Question:

79. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views regarding Ireland's ratification of the domestic workers ILO convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56061/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I welcomed the adoption of the Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention and Recommendation at the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation.

The issue of ratification by Ireland of Convention No. 189 on decent work for domestic workers is being considered in the context of our standard approach to the ratification of international instruments. Ireland does not ratify international Conventions until any such necessary amendments to domestic legislation have been identified and effected.

My officials are finalising work in relation to an assessment of the implications of ratifying the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 on Domestic Workers. The Assessment includes an article-by-article examination of the extent to which domestic legislation provisions already provide for the rights and entitlements enunciated in each article, as well as the extent to which any legislative amendments will be required. This assessment will then be forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for their examination.

As one of the articles in the ILO Convention relates to an EU competence, Ireland as part of our Presidency will be bringing forward a proposal for a Council decision which confirms that there are no legal impediments at the level of the EU to ratification by Member States of the ILO Convention.

It is important, to note, however, that domestic workers are protected by virtue of the fact that the full suite of employment rights legislation, including that of redress for violations of their employment rights, apply to domestic workers in the same way as they apply to other categories of employees in Ireland. Also it is worth pointing out that NERA has carried out a programme of inspections involving Domestic Workers as well as continuing to respond to any complaints it receives from Domestic Workers.

A voluntary Code of Practice for Persons Employed in Other People’s Homes was developed under the Industrial Relations Act 1990. The Code sets out certain employment rights and practices for persons employed in other people’s homes and encourages good practice and compliance with the law in such employment situations. In any proceedings before a court, or a workplace relations dispute resolution body, a code of practice shall be admissible in evidence and any provision of the code which appears to the court, body or officer concerned to be relevant to any question arising in the proceedings shall be taken into account in determining that question.