Exploited workers look set to benefit from additional protection in the Republic and the north after the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) signed a formal agreement with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), the British equivalent of the Irish employment watchdog.
GLA chief executive Paul Broadbent and WRC chief labour inspector Padraig Dooley put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding at the GLA’s national conference in Derby to formalise and facilitate closer working between the two organisations.
The GLA’s remit is to prevent worker exploitation in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, while the WRC performs a similar role in the Republic.
Mr Dooley said: “This new agreement represents a significant step forward and I’m sure will prove mutually beneficial to both ourselves and the GLA but, more importantly, to the workers we strive to protect. We intend to make use of the new arrangements at the earliest available opportunity and look forward to sharing best practice between our two teams.”
Mr Broadbent added: “In the past, we have come across a number of issues involving agencies supplying workers across the border — and so into a jurisdiction where our relevant organisations have no powers to act.