Presentation from cross border forced labour

Irish labour inspectorate
57 inspectors
5 regional offices (Carlow, Dublin, Shannon, Cork, & Sligo)
Achieve compliance through information, inspection &
• 2014:
• Provided information directly 50,000+ people
• Completed over 5,500 inspections
• 149 prosecutions initiated in 2014
• Enforcing statutory legal rights & obligations:
National Minimum Wage Act 2000
Payment of Wages Act 1991
Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996
Employment Permits Acts
• Powers:
View, take/copy records
interview persons
Exchange information
Offence to obstruct/mislead Inspector
Carrying out Inspections
Produce warrant
Interview under caution
Question employer, employees & inspect records
Refer any issues to relevant authorities
Most visits by appointment
Unannounced day & night visits
Employees Basic Rights
• Written Statement of Terms and Conditions
• Written statement of Pay (Payslip)
• Minimum Wage
• Annual Leave/Holidays
• Average 48 hr working week
• Sunday Premium
• Breaks/Rest periods
• Minimum Notice before dismissal
Dealing with Non-Compliance
• Ask employer to rectify any breaches
• Provide reasonable time-frame to become compliant
• Close file if compliance achieved
• Carry out follow-up inspection (6-12 months) to ensure compliance
is maintained
• Prosecute if employer does not rectify breaches or if employer is
consistent offender (records, employment permits)
Main breaches of employment law found
• Badly kept or no records
• No terms & conditions
• Failure to pay Statutory Minimum Rate of pay
• Benefit for Public Holidays
• Employment Permits
Employment Permits
• Employment Permits Act 2006 – Authorised Officers
• Employment Permit compliance checked as part of NERA
• Employment rights of individuals are not enforceable if the
employment contract is invalid
• Part 2 of Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 provides
remedy for cases similar to Hussein v The Labour Court & Anor
Domestic workers
• Over 3 years of inspections
• Cases primarily sourced through official records
• 140 inspections since 2011
• Mostly record/terms & conditions breaches
• Approx. €6,000 wage arrears
• Au Pairs & Domestic Work, employment/self employment,
overnight hours
• Carers Association/SIPTU/MRCI project ‘Developing employment
standards for homecare workers’
Forced Labour - Criminal Law (Human
Trafficking) Acts 2008 & 2013
• Labour exploitation includes:
• forced labour
• forcing the person to render services to another
• Forced labour: ‘a work or service which is exacted
from a person under the menace of any penalty and for
which the person has not offered himself or herself
Statutory role
• No statutory role for NERA under Criminal Law (Human
Trafficking) 2008 & 2013 Acts
• Inclusion of labour exploitation clearly allows NERA to
contribute to prevention forced labour through
enforcement of labour law
What can NERA do to prevent THB?
• Information
• Identification
• Disruption
• Inspectors trained in identifying indicators of THB
• Obligation on employers and employees to provide
• Power to enter any workplace
• Access to official records & information
• Call centre, publications, website, training
• Working with other organisations (NGO & State)
• Information available in 13 languages/8 language
• Multi lingual inspection card
• Inspections help create an environment where it is
difficult for traffickers to operate
• Inspections of vulnerable work sectors (Domestic, Catering,
Hotels, Contract Cleaning, Agriculture, Car Washes….)
• Enforcement of Employment Permits
• Joint inspections with Revenue & Social Protection
• 10 suspicious cases to Garda in 2014
• Member of Labour Exploitation Working Group
• Close working relationship with MRCI and other NGO’s
• Information sharing and joint inspections with Garda,
Revenue & Department of Social Protection
• Training of Garda
• Inspectors trained by Garda in indicators of THB
• Inspections of sectors where THB may be encountered
• Forced labour v labour exploitation
• Victim identification & co-operation
• Ability to impose financial & legal consequences for
• Early referral/information exchange between all bodies
• Greater co-operation and coherence between State &
Civil society
John Kelly
Regional Manager
National Employment Rights Authority (NERA)
+353 5991 78942
Achieving a national culture of
employment rights compliance