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Work permit law to boost Irish techs

Wednesday, April 23 15:54:03

The Government today published a new law to modernise Ireland's employment permits system as part of a plan to make Ireland the top global location for ICT skills and confirm our status as the internet capital of Europe.

The Employment Permits (Amendment) Bill 2014 will be enacted by the summer, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton said today.

The provisions of the law include: updating provisions for the employment permits schemes in line with policy and economic developments since 2007; providing the flexibility to deal with changing labour market, work patterns and economic development needs which often require rapid response; providing for a robust employment permits regime which will provide clarity and certainty to potential investors and employers, both indigenous and multi-national, to better enable their business planning and HR decision-making; and addressing recent deficiencies in the legislation identified by the High Court in the Younis case in 2012, which have the potential to allow employers to benefit from illegal employment contracts in situations where an employee does not hold an employment permit but is required to do so.

Publishing the legislation, Minister Bruton said the ICT sector is a central part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs.

"Skills is key to this, as one of the biggest issues faced by businesses considering creating jobs in this sector is the availability of skilled graduates to do the work needed. Working closely with Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn we have delivered substantial improvements in the past three years, and this has made a major contribution to the overall increase in the numbers of people at work in this area. Under the most recent ICT Action Plan at least 3 out of 4 vacancies in the ICT sector will be filled by graduates from Irish colleges - this is a major leap forward from the 45pc that prevailed in 2011."

"The legislation we are publishing today will make a major contribution to the overall reforms we are delivering in the employment permits area. It codifies and clarifies the law in this area to make the system more transparent and obligations clearer to businesses and other stakeholders. It also makes the system more flexible and responsive to changing economic circumstances, so that our employment permits system can respond quickly and allow our economy benefit from quickly-emerging opportunities," the Minister said.