Pays tribute to the work of the Migrant Rights centre Ireland for their work opposing the Bill

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin spBrid Smith TD has said that she is delighted that a proposed Fianna Fail bill concerning Au Pairs has been rejected by the Dail in a vote this afternoon. Deputy Smith said that this Bill would have left vulnerable young migrant workers without any protection or access to the states Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Deputy Smith paid tribute to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland for their sterling work in opposing the Fianna Fail Bill.

Deputy Smith said “Our amendment to Fianna Fail’s ‘Au Pair Placement Bill’ urged TDs to allow workers continued access to the WRC to hear their grievances over low pay and long hours. There have also been reports of some of the worst examples of gross exploitation in the sector.”

Deputy Smith continued to say “the Au Pair Placement Bill is ill designed and could have had horrendous consequences for people working as Au Pairs as their work is already undervalued. This Bill talked about pocket money and light domestic duties; it doesn’t reflect the reality of domestic work today and seems instead to hark back to some idealised past of Au Pair work as something a student did as a rite of passage. 

“I Au paired myself when younger but an unintended consequence of this bill would be to remove protections and laws from the most vulnerable of workers. We have a child care crisis in this country which can’t be dealt with by legislating to allow people to import cheap child care dressed up as cultural exchange.

“The recent cases before the WRC give lie to that argument and exposed an industry which unfortunately is dominated by gross exploitation. We must stand against that.

“I would like to say well done to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland for their work on this matter. Migrant workers have rights too and as workers they should have equal access to the mechanisms of the Workplace Relations Commission.”