Since January 2019, 17 employers associated with meat processing have been inspected by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Minister for Business Heather Humphreys has said.
She told the Dáil last week that the WRC carries out compliance checks in relation to general operative permits.
“The inspector will inquire, as part of the inspection, in order to confirm that conditions are met in respect of accommodation and language training,” she said.
Minister Humphreys said that in six of the 17 cases, contraventions of legislation were detected and three have been approved for prosecution, with inquiries ongoing in the other three cases.
“No breaches of the language training or accommodation conditions were detected. In addition, the HSA has all the necessary powers to take action in such matters.
“The first thing it wants to do is to work with employers and employees, but the authority has all the powers it needs to go into any place of work and close it down if that is what it deems necessary to do. I want to make clear that it has those powers,” she said in response to questions from Green Party TD Francis Noel Duffy.
Minister Humphreys also said that meat plants were among 240 COVID-19-related inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) between Monday and Wednesday of last week.
She said while the HSA does not give details of individual inspections, meat processing plants were included in the inspections.