Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Morgan demands action on exploitation of domestic workers

7 February, 2006


During question time in the Dáil today Sinn Féin spokesperson on Employment and Worker Rights Arthur Morgan T.D. challenged the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mícheál Martin to outline what actions he is taking to protect migrant workers who are employed as domestic workers.

Deputy Morgan said, "Domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation because they work behind closed doors. They have less access to information about their rights and to trade unions.

"We need a guarantee from the Minister that specific action will be taken to ensure their rights are protected. Sinn Féin is calling for the introduction of employment regulation orders outlining rates of pay and minimum standards for domestic workers in light of increasing evidence that these workers are being exploited and mistreated.

"Has the Minister plans to ensure that domestic workers are made aware of their rights? Has the Minister plans to make these workers aware of the rates of pay and minimum standards that should apply, for example? Is the Minister considering encouraging these people to join trade unions who would, in turn, make them aware of their rights?"

Speaking afterward Deputy Morgan said he was "disappointed that the Minister had not set out a clear time framed plan to address the plight of migrant domestic workers and by the Minister's abdication of any responsibility in relation to the introduction of employment regulation orders to cover domestic workers." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin