Trusted Partner Initiative
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Trusted Partner Initiative launched in May 2015. It is aimed primarily at high volume users of the employment permits regime and is open to both existing users of the system and new start up companies that may have a need to use the system in the future. ‘High volume users’ would be any organisation employing 4 to 5 people on employment permits in a given year. If an organisation is given Trusted Partner status, it will be valid for 2 years, after which a renewal application must be submitted 8 weeks prior to expiration. There are over 500 organisations at present classified as Trusted Partners with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Benefits of being a Trusted Partner
· There is a fast turnaround on Trusted Partner applications (on average 2 working days)
· There is no fee for applications
· Shortened permit application form as all employer details already saved
· Faster turnaround on Trusted Partner employment permit applications (8 – 10 days)
Organisations applying for Trusted Partner status must be registered with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners as an employer and, where applicable, the Companies Registration Office or the Registry of Friendly Societies. In addition organisations that have been convicted of an offence under the Employment Permits Acts 2006 as amended, Employment Permits Act of 2003, the Immigration Act 2004 or an enactment specified in Schedule 1 of the Employment Permits Act 2006, as amended will be excluded from the Trusted Partner scheme for 5 years from the date of conviction.
When an application is successful the organisation will be allocated a Trusted Partner Registration Number which will need to be quoted on each employment permit application.
A posted worker is defined as a ‘person who, for a limited period of time, carries out his or her work in the territory of an EU Member State other than the State in which he or she normally works.’ A posted worker would be, for example, a Spanish employee working in a multinational organisation with offices in Ireland being temporarily assigned to work in Ireland.
S.I. 412 of 2016 - European Union (posting of Workers) Regulations 2016 was transposed into Irish law on the 28th July 2016, and introduced a number of new measures aimed at improving the employment rights of workers posted to Ireland. The Regulations seek to ensure that posted workers are protected in respect of their employment law rights in Ireland and to strengthen the enforcement mechanisms where those rights are breached.
Key measures introduced by the Regulations are:
- Where a Service Provider posts a worker to Ireland it must notify the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in advance and provide details such as:
- The name and address of the Service Provider
- The work location of the posted worker
- The anticipated number of incoming posted workers
- The envisaged start date and end date of the posted worker
- The nature of the job
- The weekly hours of work and gross hourly rate of pay
- The Service Provider must also ensure that certain documents are made available to the WRC for inspection. These documents include copies of contracts of employment, payslips and timesheets.
- Where the WRC receives a declaration that is in compliance they will issue the Service Provider with an acknowledgement.
- Failure to comply with the notification rules is an offence and can lead to fines of up to €50,000.
- A new subcontracting liability in the construction sector guards against posted workers being paid less than their minimum entitlements. Where a posted worker in construction is not paid the applicable statutory rates of pay by their direct employer, the contractor one up the supply chain may be held liable either in addition to or in place of the employer.
- The Regulations also introduce new measures to enable the enforcement of cross-border penalties and fines. Authorities in other EU Member States can request the WRC to enforce penalties or fines against the Service Provider that is established in Ireland.
These Regulations should be viewed in detail by organisations with an international presence whose employees travel regularly throughout the EU as part of their role. What is also noteworthy is that the Regulations do not specify the length of time a worker needs to be placed abroad to be considered a “posted worker”. Organisations must view each situation on a case by case basis to distinguish between “business travel” and being classified as a “posted worker”.
Letter of support
Holders of a Green Card Employment Permit or a Critical Skills Employment Permit are eligible to apply for Stamp 4 immigration permission having completed 2 years employment in the State. Holders of these permits can request a Support Letter from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when making such an application to the GNIB. Requests can be submitted up to 12 weeks before the expiry date of the permit i.e. once an employee has worked 21 months out of 24 months. Individuals will need to supply the Department with supporting documentation such as a letter from the Employment Permit holder’s employer, copies of 3 recent payslips and copies of P60s issued to the holder of the Permit.
Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and Ineligible Categories of Employment List review
In order to maintain the relevance of the highly skilled eligible occupations list and the ineligible categories of employment lists the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation carry out a review process on a bi-annual basis. During these reviews the Economic Migration Policy Unit within the Department seeks submissions from representative bodies such as Ibec, Government Departments, Agencies and other interested parties to put forward their views on occupations currently included or excluded from the lists. The Department will notify Ibec when this review process is being carried out and in turn Ibec will inform members to determine if a submission related to any potential skill shortage needs to be put forward.
Wednesday, 23 August 2017