Legislation aimed at protecting undocumented migrant workers is being progressed as a priority by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The proposed legislation will address, amongst other matters, an important legal issue identified in a recent High Court decision. In August 2012, the High Court overturned a Rights Commissioner's award of over €91,000 in favour of a foreign national employed as a restaurant worker.
The Court found that the employee’s contract of employment was substantively illegal in the absence of the appropriate employment permit and that he was therefore not entitled to the award.
The proposed legislation will protect migrant workers whose employment in Ireland is unlawful by reason of not having a work permit. The Department recently confirmed that it is expected that the Bill will be published in the first quarter of this year.