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Traveller and Roma Policy in Ireland

Employment and Special Initiatives

The National Employment Rights Authority ensures the full application of Irish employment rights protections to non-Irish nationals with a right to work here is communicated in multiple languages including Romanian and Bulgarian.

In the context of supporting the capacity building of local and regional authorities the establishment of the Local Enterprise Offices is a significant development which has been rolled out during 2014. The Local Enterprise Office is the First Stop Shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland. The Local Enterprise Office provides advice, information and support to persons starting up or growing a business. With 31 dedicated teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices offer a wide range of experience, skills and services.

The Local Enterprise Office is for people interested in starting up a new business or already in business including; entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start-ups and small business looking to expand.

Their role is:

    - to drive the development of local enterprise, putting local micro and small business at the heart of job creation in Ireland.

    - to drive and support business start-ups and promote a ‘can-do’ business culture.

    - to increase the job potential of new and existing micro and small businesses.

    - to increase the number of innovative businesses with potential to export.

    - to be proactive in response to the needs of our clients.

In their dealings with customers, LEOs ensure the rights to equal treatment established by equality legislation are upheld. The LEO does not discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, gender, family status, race, religious belief, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community.

LEOs also promote equality of treatment within enterprises , for example, by promulgating guides such as “Employment Legislation Guide for Small and Medium Businesses” that emphasise the importance for employers to operate in a manner consistent with the need to provide equal opportunities to their employees and to work with people on the basis of individual merit and without regard to gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller Community.

Special Initiatives for Travellers

Discussions held between the Department of Justice & Equality and the Department of Social Protection during 2014 resulted in a decision to transfer the management of the Special Initiative for the employment of Travellers project to the Department of Justice & Equality with effect from 1st January 2015. This decision was made given that the Department of Justice & Equality are moving to implement changes to the structures in place for consulting with and improving outcomes for the Traveller community, at both national and local level. The transfer of the Special Initiative for the employment of Travellers project to the Department of Justice is aimed at supporting those changes with a particular focus on enhancing the Traveller inter-agency approach in the area of employment. The Initiative retains its original objective of providing Traveller Support Workers and assistance for employment and enterprise development.

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