375. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of employment declaration forms received from persons in the asylum process since June 2018, by types of occupations in which persons in the asylum process are currently employed in tabular form. [24294/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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 the applicant in cases of self-employment) is obliged to inform the Minister 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.
Based on the returned declaration forms received to date I am advised that a total of 1,085/employers/applicants have indicated they have commenced employment or self-employment. 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, and therefore this will not be reflected in the figures quoted.
Data in respect of the types of occupations protection applicants have taken up is not available in the format or detail requested by the Deputy and would require a disproportionate amount of staff resources to compile with diversion of these resources from processing of applications which is the priority. However, I am advised by INIS that holders gain employment in varied occupations with large numbers in the hospitality and retail sectors and with smaller numbers in areas such as ICT and HR, engineering, healthcare and working for NGOs.
I should also add that not all applicants who are granted access to the labour market may choose to enter the workforce or may postpone doing so for a number of reasons such as participation in education or training programmes, which the permission grants them access to, or for family reasons such as childcare, etc.