Workers living in Direct Provision must have their rights protected

Seán Sherlock TD
22 April 2021

Labour social protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD has called on the Government to provide clarity for all workers living in Direct Provision. Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Sherlock said there is an immediate and urgent need to provide clarity for healthcare workers.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“There must be clear, unambiguous guidelines established for workers living in Direct Provision, particularly those working on the frontline, where they are accommodated in housing near where they work.

“The RTÉ report that two healthcare workers had to leave their jobs in nursing homes due to issues over temporary accommodation this week was truly shocking and an affront to logic as well as the dignity of these workers. The report stated that these workers could no longer avail of a HSE temporary accommodation scheme and were subsequently returned to Direct Provision. In one case, a worker was placed 200 km from where she lived and worked. Nowhere does it say in documentation, as highlighted by the report, that eligibility criteria are dependent on whether or not there are Covid-19 cases in the workplace.

“The context of the HSE kicking these two workers out of temporary accommodation remains to be examined further. In their own words: “My employer told me that you can’t stay in the HSE accommodation anymore because they said that we don’t have any case [of Covid-19] in our nursing home.” Urgent guidance must be prepared on this point.

“People living in Direct Provision must be guaranteed the freedom and independence of any other person living in this country. Ensuring access to temporary accommodation for healthcare workers is one element of this but we also need to think big picture. People living in Direct Provision must have access to education, a key element for every young person living in Direct Provision in particular. Education is the key to building for a future where we integrate people and give them the rights to which they are entitled by dint of any international standard.”

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