275. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to the fact that asylum seekers are facing difficulties ascertaining employment due to suspicions surrounding the legitimacy of their work permits; if she plans to introduce work permits in a new format as per recommendations by an organisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18033/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As recommended by the Catherine Day Expert Advisory Group, my Department is currently at an early investigative stage in the process of changing the labour market access permission letter to a card format. I expect to bring this change this change into effect before the end of the year.
Employers have a duty under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018, to inform the Minister for Justice, where they employ an international protection applicant who holds a labour market access permission, within 21 days of that applicant being employed, and once again within 21 days of the employment ceasing. Declaration forms for this purpose are provided to eligible applicants by my Department’s Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) along with their permission letter.
If an employer or a prospective employer has any suspicions surrounding the legitimacy of a labour market access permission letter, they can contact the LMAU (Lmauqueries@justice.ie) at any time to verify its authenticity.