Businesses advised to step up immigration compliance amid increased government inspections

The Government has noted it will step up its enforcement of immigration compliance in the workplace to ensure adherence to national immigration laws and minimise the illegal employment of foreign nationals.

Employers found to be employing an individual who does not have the appropriate permission to work in Ireland face a number of penalties. The number of workplace inspections and crackdown on illegal employment is likely to increase over the coming months.
Ángel Bello-Cortés, partner with Fragomen Ireland said “Non-compliance with Employment Permits legislation carries a number of penalties. While the government has typically focused its enforcement on industries where ‘casual’ work may be more commonplace, such as hospitality, construction and fast food, we would expect an increase in inspections across the board.”
“The legal framework for penalising illegal employment and immigration compliance breaches generally, in an employment context, exists and is laid out clearly in the employment Permits Acts. In light of recent statements by the government, we would expect increased workplace inspections and compliance enforcement. Essentially, an increased focus on compliance by authorities does not need to wait for legislative action – it could happen tomorrow.” he added.
While employers are typically cognisant of the wider labour and employment law requirements, it is equally important to follow Ireland’s immigration and employment permits legislation. Inspections are frequently carried out by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to ensure employers are meeting their immigration obligations under the relevant legislation, and employers need to ensure they have clear policies around the tracking and ongoing monitoring of the immigration status of their employees. With new legislation pending and the increased scrutiny on migration in the state, employers will need robust record-keeping practices and full awareness of their immigration obligations, including ancillary obligations in respect of holders of valid permits, to ensure they and their employees remain in compliance.
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