Written Answers. - Work Permits.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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  174.  Mr. Ferris  Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if her Department will take steps to revise the conditions that apply to holders of work permits who are currently unable to change jobs or to apply for a new job without the permission of their employer. [23739/02]

  175.  Mr. Ferris  Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if she will introduce changes in the conditions governing the granting of work permits in order that an employer who wishes to employ a person with a permit who is currently in employment does not have to go through the entire procedure again. [23751/02]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I propose to take Questions Nos. 174 and 175 together.

It is inaccurate to say that non-EEA nationals working on foot of work permits cannot leave jobs without the permission of their employer. My Department has facilitated and continues to facilitate numerous non-EEA workers who have chosen to move jobs. Our records suggest that some 2,600 non-EEA workers changed employer last year and the figure is likely to be higher this year.

I have no plans to discontinue the process whereby employers seeking to employ an existing permit holder must go through the normal procedures, including notification of the vacancy to FÁS. This is necessary in order to ensure that full account is taken of labour market conditions in deciding on the granting of a work permit.

Question No. 176 withdrawn.


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