Call for work permits to improve au pair conditions

Call for work permits to improve au pair conditions

The Government is being urged to re-introduce the work permit for workers in the home.

It was abolished in 2009, and the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland said they have seen a steady increase in the exploitation of au pairs since then.

They are launching the Labour of Love campaign today to raise awareness about the issue.

Aoife Smith from the Domestic Workers Action Group said it becomes very difficult for workers to leave these jobs.

"Because their wages are so low, they're not actually able to afford to pay private rented accommodation, and they can't access social security and social welfare because they haven't been paying any taxes and PRSI," she said.

She said that while this financial constraints are one reason workers find themselves stuck in these jobs, another is the lack of opportunity in the sector.

"It's very difficult to get work as a full-time nanny or childminder now, because it's almost seen that the acceptable rate for a full-time childminder now is between €80 and €100 a week."


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