Under the Atypical Worker Scheme introduced in February 2016 for non-EEA workers engaged on certain Irish-registered fishing vessels, workers are entitled to a minimum weekly payment amounting to 39 hours at the National Minimum hourly rate of pay. Under employment law generally these workers are entitled to public holiday, annual leave and other benefits.
The 281 inspections referred to in the replies of 1 May 2018 relate to inspections undertaken by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) across the 186 vessels which come within the remit of the Atypical Scheme.
The WRC has completed and closed off their current investigations in relation to 114 of these vessels, of which 48 employed non-EEA fishers under the terms of the Atypical Worker Permission Scheme. In the case of 6 of this 48, the WRC detected contraventions involving unpaid wages and to date €7,984 has been secured for those employees. Of this, €6,990 related to illegal deductions, €561 for failure to pay the National Minimum Wage and €433 for holiday entitlements. These amounts were secured in 2017.
The work of the WRC is continuing in relation to open cases on the remainder of the 186 vessels within the scheme in relation to undertaking inspections and enquiries, working with owners to address contraventions and, where relevant, securing any unpaid wages due to employees. Proceedings are taken against vessel owners who fail to engage or to address contraventions.