Written Answers. - Embassy Staff.

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

47 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of non-Irish and non-diplomatic staff employed in the residence of each ambassador of Ireland; the position in which each of these persons is employed; the range of duties assigned to each of these persons; the nationality of each of these persons; if each of these persons receives a wage or salary which meets the requirements of the Irish minimum wages legislation; if not, if each person receives a wage or salary which meets the requirements of similar legislation or regulations applicable in the country in which the residence is located; the annual leave entitlement of each such person; the general terms of employment applicable to such persons; if he is satisfied that the Government is not exploiting such staff; if all Irish diplomatic residences are model employers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3741/02]

Domestic staff are employed to assist ambassadors with representational duties undertaken at state residences. The number is related to the level of representational duties and is generally two per embassy.

The terms of employment, including leave, of all domestic staff are set in accordance with local practice and the employment laws and regulations of the host state, rather than Irish legislation. In this regard, salary scales are maintained in line with those offered by the local embassies as well as similar local public and private sector employment. They are adjusted on a regular basis to take account of local inflation.

As an equal opportunity employer, it is not the practice of the Department to use nationality as a recruitment criterion for domestic staff. Accordingly, no records in regard to the nationality of domestic staff are kept.

I am not aware of any suggestion that any of our diplomatic missions has not been adhering to best local employment practices or that the conditions of employment are less than satisfactory.