Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Question 104: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of labour inspectors currently employed by the National Employment Rights Authority; the number of labour inspectors currently available for assignment on normal duties; the number currently in training following recruitment; the status of the recruitment campaign to increase the labour inspectorate to 90 inspectors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7279/09]
Billy Kelleher (Minister of State with special responsibility for Labour Affairs, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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NERA currently has in place a team of seventy-nine inspectors. Recruitment competitions were held to bring the number of Inspectors from the original level of thirty one inspectors up to the level of ninety committed to under Towards 2016. A total of sixty inspectors were assigned to NERA from these competitions. Twelve inspectors left NERA over the past year as a result of promotion, internal and external Departmental transfers and, re-assignments.
All new inspectors are required to complete the NERA Inspection Services Introductory Training Programme and to undertake further training, including on-the-job training with experienced inspectors. This involves working with experienced inspectors carrying out inspections and other associated enquiries at places of work with a view to determining compliance with certain employment rights legislation. Fifty-nine of the sixty new inspectors have completed the Introductory Training Programme and are now actively involved in inspection duties. One inspector has recently taken up duty and will commence training shortly. A competitive selection process was held very recently to form a panel of people who will fill current and future inspector vacancies as they arise.