We have been informed that a Government decision was reached on the 28th February last to permit Romanian and Bulgarian parents of Irish citizen children unrestricted access to the Labour Market with immediate effect. We understand that notice of this change will be posted on the Department of Job, Enterprise and Innovation this week.
It seems that this change in the law will be automatic, and immediate; Therefore Romanians and Bulgarian who arrived in the State from 2007 onwards and who are the parents of Irish citizen children will not be required to apply for work permits in order to be legally employed in the State. For those already in employment, they will be automatically regarded as legally employed.
The decision comes following a number of cases, which have recently been issued in the High Court to challenge the State’s policy to exclude Romanian and Bulgarian parents of Irish citizen children from the ambit of the Zambrano judgement. In one such case taken by this office, we claimed on behalf of our client that the State had acted unlawfully in failing to give preference to him, as a citizen of the European Union, over third country nationals in respect of access to the labour market in the State. Furthermore, it was argued that the State had acted unlawfully by discriminating against the applicants as families consisting of Irish citizen children with a Romanian/Bulgarian parents by treating them less favourably in respect of the parent’s access to the labour market when compared with families consisting of an Irish citizen children with a third country national parent.
We very much welcome the State’s change in position to accept that all Romanian/Bulgarian nationals, who are parents of Irish citizen children, must have full access to the Labour Market.