319. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and proportion of adults in direct provision in employment. [30785/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 which I signed into effect from 30 June, 2018, includes access to the labour market for qualified international protection applicants.
My Department provides confirmation in writing to qualified applicants of their entitlement to access the labour market, for use when they apply for a job or become self employed. It is a free, easy to use, accessible service with a very short turn around from receipt of application to the sending out of the permission letter. It is a very broad access to the workplace.
When an international protection applicant is issued with a labour market access permission under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 and takes up employment, the employer (or applicant in the case of self-employment), is obliged to inform the Minister for Justice and Equality within 21 days. A standard form for this purpose is available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department.
I am advised by INIS that, based on the returned declaration forms received to date, a total of 1,267 applicants have indicated they have commenced employment or self-employment, of which 896 are living in Direct Provision. As the employer or applicant has 21 days from the time they take up employment or self-employment to return the declaration form, there is likely to be a time lag between the actual date of commencement of employment and INIS being notified of same.