13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the year on year increase in the value of military exports between 2015 and 2016, from €42 million to €63 million; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30234/17 asked on 29 Jun 2017 - Military Exports)

Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I publish an annual report under the Control of Exports Act 2008 which includes information on military exports. The objective of publishing such a report is to provide the public with a continuing enhanced level of transparency about exports of controlled goods and services.  Export controls are of particular importance to my Department in ensuring compliance with the highest international standards in accor...

39. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan issued by her Department in 2016; and the value of licences issued for each country. (Question 30235/17 asked on 29 Jun 2017 - Military Exports)

Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): In 2016, my Department issued one military export licence with a value of €202,000 where the United Arab Emirates was the ultimate destination and six military export licences with a value of €742,429 where Saudi Arabia was the ultimate destination. This was in respect of category ML5 Military products, which includes electronic control devices and components. No licence applications arose in respect of the ...

625. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if, as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, she met with a person (details supplied), the chief of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement on 6 May 2015 to discuss the destruction of documents in the person’s office that weekend; and if she made any decisions or made any follow up queries as a result of that meeting. (Question 26025/17 asked on 30 May 2017 - Corporate Governance)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The then Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., met the Director of Corporate Enforcement with Department officials on 6 May 2015. At that meeting, the Minister was informed of the destruction of documents and other weaknesses in the investigation.
As the matter was before the courts, it was sub judice. It was considered that no steps should be taken that would interfere with the prosecuti...

257. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 51 of 16 May 2017, if she will clarify the fact that the weapons category ML5 is not defined as electronic control devices and components, per the common military list of the European Union published on 21 April 2015 and that the components which fall under the ML5 category include other equipment (details supplied). (Question 24864/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Arms Trade)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): Electronic control devices and components are included under category ML5 of the list referred to by the Deputy. 
The EU Common Military List, as published on 21 April 2015, specifies the following as being included under category ML5 -
“Fire control, and related alerting and warning equipment, and related systems, test and alignment and countermeasure equipment, as follows, specially designed for military use, and spe...

51. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the recently published report under the Control of Exports Act 2008 covering the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015; if the volume of arms exports permitted by her Department to countries with poor human rights records and which form part of the Saudi Arabian alliance engaged in the bombardment of Yemen is of concern in view of the EU common position on arms exports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22989/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - Arms Trade)

Deputy Clare Daly: It is clear, despite that it has not been publicly acknowledged by Government, that Ireland voted for Saudi Arabia to be part of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The question beggared belief with many people, given Saudi Arabia’s record on women’s rights and human rights. Maybe the answer lies in the question in front of the Minister about the massive spike in the licences issued - documented in the report published by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovati...

61. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of WRC inspections and investigations that have taken place to date in 2017 within the horse racing industry with particular regard to stable and stud staff; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22659/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - Workplace Relations Commission)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): Inspectors of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) carry out inspections of employer records with a view to determining compliance with employment rights and employment permits legislation. 
The WRC’s work programme for 2017 makes specific provision for a compliance and enforcement campaign within the equine sector generally, including the horse racing industry. Inspections under this campaign will check complianc...

87. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the working hour bands which will be contained in her Department’s proposed legislation on precarious working practices and low hour contracts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22905/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - Employment Rights)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen): The legislative proposals approved by Government are in response to the Programme for Government commitment to address the problems caused by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work.
Included in the proposals is a provision for the creation of a new employment right for an employee, whose contract of employment does not reflect the reality of hours worked ove...

321. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the details of payments made by her Department or a public body under the aegis of her Department to a person (details supplied) in the past 36 months and to date in 2017. (Question 21390/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The person in question was employed as chief executive officer of the Labour Relations Commission until 30 September 2015, and as director general of the Workplace Relations Commission following its establishment on 1 October 2015.
In this context, my Department processed salary payments to the person in question during the period referred to. These ceased upon the person’s retirement in June 2016.
No further payments...

679. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if there are circumstances whereby the active service exemption from the relevant statutory obligations can be applied in the month prior to active service starting (details supplied); and if so, the specifics of those circumstances. (Question 16569/17 asked on 04 Apr 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): Section 6 (2) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (2005 Act) allows for an exemption from relevant statutory provisions for members of the Defence Forces in the context of certain specific criteria. The criteria cover when a member of the Defence Forces is on active service within the meaning of section 5 of the Defence Act 1954 or deemed to be on active service within the meaning of section 4(1) of the ...

27. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if her attention has been drawn to threats of disciplinary action made by the management of a company (details supplied) against employees that took part in industrial action in February 2017; the steps her Department will take to prevent such intimidation when employees exercise their democratic right to take industrial action; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14436/17 asked on 23 Mar 2017 - Employment Rights)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): Employment legislation protects from victimisation employees and managers seeking to avail of or availing of their rights under the legislation. This means that employers may not penalise an employee by dismissal, unfair treatment or an unfavourable change in conditions of employment. 
Furthermore, dismissal for trade union activity or membership is automatically unfair under Section 6 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts 19...

46. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the request from an organisation (details supplied) for her Department to ease restrictions on the issuing of work permits for foreign workers in the racing industry. (Question 14435/17 asked on 23 Mar 2017 - Work Permits Eligibility)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The State’s general policy with regard to the employment of non-EEA nationals is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of Ireland and the European Economic Area. The employment permits system is intended to offer an interim solution for employers where specific skills prove difficult to source within the EEA. The system offers a route into the Irish labour market for non-EEA nat...

18. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if her Department has or will consider instituting a presumption of denial policy in regard to weapon and dual use exports to Saudi Arabia in view of that country’s bombardment of Yemen. (Question 6178/17 asked on 09 Feb 2017 - Military Exports)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The EU has a range of sanctions in place in respect of countries engaged in conflicts. All licence applications are considered having regard to these measures.  Sanctions can include arms embargoes and various restrictive measures including prohibitions on the provision of targeted goods and services. My Department considers all arms embargos and trade sanctions when considering export licence applications, however t...

28. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on reports of rampant non-compliance with employment legislation within the horse racing industry, particularly among stable staff, including non-compliance with the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 and below minimum wage rates of pay; the number of cases of non-compliance with employment legislation in this industry investigated by her Department in the past five years; and the steps she will take to have the issues arising addressed. (Question 6177/17 asked on 09 Feb 2017 - Employment Rights)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen) (Deputy Pat Breen): Ireland’s body of employment rights legislation protects all employees who are legally employed on an employer-employee basis. Therefore, once it is clear that a person is working under a contract of employment (written or oral) that person has the same protection under employment law as other employees, including entitlement to the national minimum wage. 
All employers carry the same o...

695. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 11 and 13 of 8 December 2016 (details supplied), the reason for the continued delay in the publication of this report. (Question 6019/17 asked on 07 Feb 2017 - Export Controls)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The Export Control Report for the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015, was concluded in December 2016.  The report has now been translated into Irish and it is my intention to present both the Irish and English versions to the Houses of the Oireachtas this month after it has been presented to Government. 
The Report will include a description of key legislative developments and licensing activity during the perio...

11. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the fact that no preliminary figures on the export of dual use and military items are yet available for 2016 in view of the fact that six monthly reports on such exports were published at the end of June in each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 and in May 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38950/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Military Exports)

Deputy Mick Wallace: For many years, Ireland has had a poor record on publishing data on its military and dual use exports. It was safer for Governments to pretend that we were not an exporter of arms to maintain our thin facade of neutrality. However, perhaps provoked by the Mark Thomas documentary, we got the Control of Exports Act 2008. In 2011 we got the first report on exports of arms and dual-use items. As we approach the end of 2016, we do not have preliminary figures for this year or...

13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the fact that the report on the export of military and dual use items from Ireland under the Control of Exports Act 2008 covering the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 has not yet been published and preliminary figures are the only figures available for this period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38949/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Military Exports)

Deputy Mick Wallace: For many years, Ireland has had a poor record on publishing data on its military and dual use exports. It was safer for Governments to pretend that we were not an exporter of arms to maintain our thin facade of neutrality. However, perhaps provoked by the Mark Thomas documentary, we got the Control of Exports Act 2008. In 2011 we got the first report on exports of arms and dual-use items. As we approach the end of 2016, we do not have preliminary figures for this year or...

327. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she will consider amending the name of the Workplace Relations Commission to the workplace relations and equality commission in view of the public understanding deficit regarding the role of the WRC in adjudicating on breaches of the Equal Status Acts, and the potential effect of this understanding deficit on persons bringing claims of breaches forward for adjudication and resolution. (Question 34117/16 asked on 10 Nov 2016 - Workplace Relations Services)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is an independent, statutory body that was established on 1st October 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The Commission’s name was specified under Section 10 of this Act.
I believe that the suggested renaming to include Equality Commission in the WRC title would risk confusion with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), mandated to promote human rights...

328. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if the procedures in place to deal with complaints of breaches of the Equal Status Acts have changed since the Equality Tribunal was subsumed into the Workplace Relations Commission; and if she is satisfied with the procedures used by the WRC to handle complaints regarding breaches of the Equal Status Acts, specifically the requirement that complainants in the first instance attempt a resolution with a service provider themselves, unsupported, in view of the potential power differentials involved and the difficulties this could present for complainants. (Question 34118/16 asked on 10 Nov 2016 - Workplace Relations Services)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is an independent, statutory body which was established on 1st October 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015. As an independent body I have no involvement in its day to day running. The WRC has responsibility for information provision, workplace advice, mediation, conciliation, adjudication, inspection and enforcement in relation to employment rights, equality and equal st...

199. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her Department’s plans to address the inordinate delays and dysfunction in the workings of the Workplace Relations Commission. (Question 33146/16 asked on 03 Nov 2016 - Workplace Relations Commission)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen): The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was established to reduce inordinate delays of up to 2 years in the hearing of cases in some bodies that it replaced, and remove the dysfunction of having multiple first instance avenues of redress for the same workplace incident. This reform was overdue. Established on 1 October last year, the WRC incorporates the functions of the Labour Relations Commission (incl...

462. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps her Department is taking to explore and discuss the practical issues proposed in the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016. (Question 32525/16 asked on 02 Nov 2016 - Proposed Legislation)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen): The Deputy will be aware from the debate on the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016 in July that the Government opposed this Bill for several reasons.
Firstly, I and my colleague, Minister Mitchell O’Connor, intend bringing forward proposals in this area for consideration by Government. In this respect, work is well advanced on developing a policy response to the University of Limerick (UL) study on zero hour ...

599. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 664 of 8 June 2016 and 253 of 6 July 2016, if the Consumer and Competition Protection Commission has completed its examination; and if she will provide its findings. (Question 31939/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Consumer Protection)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), which is statutorily independent in the exercise of its enforcement function, has advised me that the examination of the matter referred to in the Deputy’s question is ongoing, along with a number of other consumer issues which have arisen as a result of the introduction of a pay by weight charging structure for household waste. The CCPC has further advised th...

1871. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the practice of retail outlets which charge a fee per transaction when selling Bord Gáis pre-pay top-up cards; and if there is regulation in regard to such surcharges, for example, a maximum fee amount that can be charged per transaction; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24931/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Business Regulation)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): My responsibility for the regulation of payment surcharges relates solely to the provisions of general application to such surcharges in the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 484 of 2013). Regulation 25 of the Regulations provides that a trader shall not charge a consumer, in respect of the use of a given means of payment, fees that exceed the cost borne by...

49. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she will consider a ban on the issue of military and dual-use licences for export to Saudi Arabia, in view of the European Parliament resolution of 25 February 2016 on the humanitarian situation in Yemen and the recent ban on military and dual-use items imposed by the Netherlands. (Question 22549/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Export Controls)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): All export licence applications are considered by my Department having regard to EU sanctions. There are currently no sanctions in place in relation to Saudi Arabia.
The European Parliament resolution cited by the Deputy called for “an initiative aimed at imposing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia”. No arms embargo has been announced or introduced. If an EU embargo is introduced in relation to Saudi Arabia, my...

61. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the value of licences issued in 2015 for the export of military list products to Israel; and if she will suspend military export licences to Israel. (Question 22548/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Export Controls)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): I can confirm that my Department did not issue any licences for the export of military list items to Israel in 2015.
All export licence applications are considered having regard to EU sanctions. There are currently no sanctions in place in relation to Israel.
Should an application for a licence for the export of military list items to Israel be received, it would be considered against the EU Common Position on the asse...

278. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she is aware of the continuing exploitation and advertisements for unpaid internships at an Irish-owned company (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21470/16 asked on 13 Jul 2016 - Internship Schemes)

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 278 and 279 together.
Arrangements which may be described as internships are not defined by Irish legislation. Depending on the particulars of the individual arrangement, the participants may have entitlements to protection under employment law, including the National Minimum Wage .
I have referred the details supplied by the Deputy to the Workplace Relations Commission f...