Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
106. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of languages employee rights information is available in; the obligations of employers to provide this information in the first language of their employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23894/06]
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Killeen): I am conscious of the difficulties sometimes experienced by non-native speakers in understanding their rights and conditions of employment. With particular regard for the needs of employees from overseas the Department has translated key Employment Rights information into nine languages namely Chinese, Czech, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. The information, which is also available in Irish as well as English, can be obtained in leaflet form and from the Department’s website. The Employment Rights Information Unit in the Department distributes thousands of information leaflets and booklets through citizen information centres and other outlets around the country.
Statutory employment rights and protections apply to all workers whether they are Irish Citizens or workers from overseas. There is no legal obligation on employers to provide information to employees on the generality of Employment Rights legislation. In this connection, however, certain legislation requires that specific information, though not necessarily in every employee's first language, be placed on public display in poster form in a relevant place of employment.
In the context of commitments under the National Partnership Agreement Towards 2016 a structured programme of Education and Awareness in respect of Employment Rights entitlements and obligations is planned. The programme will address both employers and employees with targeted information. A particular feature of the programme will be a focus on delivery of information to workers from overseas.
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