Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (243)

Micheál Martin

Question:

243. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been a reduction in the number of adults or families that live in direct provision centres since the rules to allow them to work have been changed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39271/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 came into effect from 30 June 2018. One of the key provisions of the regulations was to give broader access to the labour market for International Protection applicants. 

Eligible applicants can apply to the Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) of the Immigration Service of my Department, for a labour market permission. The permission covers both employment and self-employment and is granted to eligible applicants for six months. The permission is renewable until there is a final decision on their protection application.  Eligible applicants have access to all sectors of employment, with the exception of the Civil and Public Service, An Garda Síochána, and the Irish Defence Forces. 

I am advised by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) of my Department that as of 26 September 2019, there are a total of 7,355 persons residing in accommodation provided by IPAS. This represents an overall increase of 1,827 persons from the date of the signing of the The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018.  

In this regard the Deputy may wish to note that direct provision services are offered to those who come to Ireland and apply for international protection (asylum). These services are demand led and generally it is difficult to predict demand far in advance. Therefore, it is not possible to link the introduction of the right to work for protection applicants with any change in the number of adults or families living in direct provision centres, as application numbers are impacted by a number of factors, including international developments.