Almost half of undocumented migrants work over 40 hours a week in Ireland, while more than a quarter earn below minimum wage, new research reveals. A new survey has revealed high levels of exploitation when it comes to the number of hours worked and wages paid.
Data from the MRCI states there are an estimated 17,000 to 20,000 undocumented people living in Ireland, including between 2,000-3,000 children.
The Justice for the Undocumented Group (JFU) and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) yesterday (Thursday) published the results of their research into the lives of over 1,000 undocumented migrants in Ireland. Over 70% of whom were aged between 24 and 44.
The results of the survey show that over 75% of respondents have been living in Ireland for over five years and that 93% were engaged in employment.
Many of which also form part of vital sectors such as the front lines in the response to the Covid-19 emergency. More than 27% of those surveyed worked in providing care to older people in private home settings.
Speaking at the launch, Tjanasi Jack, Chair of JFU called for a clear and fair solution to this issue. “This survey shows that undocumented people are at the heart of our communities; we are your friends, your neighbours and your co-workers,” she said.
Zaineb has been living undocumented in Ireland for over three years: “Sometimes I am not paid the full amount, other times I am not paid at all. If I had my status I could stand up to this. I could get a better job and give my children a better future.”
In June, the new Government committed in the Programme for Government to introduce a new regularisation scheme for undocumented workers, children and young people within 18 months of taking office.
Neil Bruton of MRCI said schemes that offered a pathway to papers were common across the EU: “Today we are calling on the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee to bring in a scheme that is broad and inclusive, so that people can live safely and securely and thrive in their home.”
It’s never been more important – or more easy – to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Join Fórsa HERE or contact the union HERE.