Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice the procedure regarding the issuing of an employment permit to atypical workers in the fishing industry; if such persons must be in possession of a visa before a work permit can issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17525/21]
834. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice the procedure regarding the issuing of visas to atypical workers in the fishing industry; if an employment permit is required before a visa can issue to such a worker; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17524/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 772 and 834 together.
A person can apply for an employment visa (Atypical Working Scheme) if they have approval from the Atypical Working Scheme Division of the Immigration Service of my Department to take up short term employment in Ireland.
The Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) was developed, in conjunction with the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment (DETE) and other relevant stakeholders, to provide a streamlined approach for applications from non-EEA nationals who wish to work in atypical, short-term employment or other employments not included in the DETE list of ‘Ineligible Categories’.
One of the categories of employment covered by the Scheme is non-EEA crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet. This part of the Scheme was established as a cross Departmental response to address the matter of non-EEA workers on certain categories of vessels in the Irish fishing fleet, who are not currently eligible for permission under the DETE Employment Permit system.
The application process for permission under the AWS includes the drawing up of a contract which includes, the 12 month duration of the contract payment of wages in line with the minimum wage, that the medical needs of the employee must be provided for by the employer, and when an employment is terminated the employer must repatriate the employee to their home country. This contract, prepared by a solicitor practising in the State on behalf of the employer, is submitted in the first instance to the Central Depository administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and thereafter an application is made to the Immigration Service of my Department for an immigration permission.
Applicants under the AWS for non-EEA crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet can also make a request to change to a different employer licensed under the Scheme at any time during their permission. A participant does not need to leave the State in order to do this.