The head of the Workplace Relations Commission has said today that some people are being subjected to slave-like conditions here.
Earlier this week, a ban preventing asylum seekers from working was formally declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
The Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he aims to bring Ireland in line with ‘EU norms’ - in relation to the right to work - by June.
Director General of the WRC, Oonagh Buckley, says exploitation is already affecting many in this country.
"We have people working in Ireland that actually don't need employment permits, they may be nationals of the EU or EEA, who work in incredibly vulnerable situations," she said.
"We find people in conditions that are close to slavery, to be honest - their passport taken away, they're not getting their rightful pay.
"Does it happen a lot? I don't know, but I have one inspector who solemnly tells me that every few months: 'You're only ever about five miles from somebody in effective slavery in Ireland."