A farmer in Co. Galway is currently under investigation for allegedly forcing a non-national to work in ‘slave-like’ conditions, An Garda Siochana has confirmed to Agriland.
The worker is understood to have been employed by the farmer between July 1 and September 5, 2016.
Despite being employed for two months, the worker reportedly was never paid and was living in a container with no proper facilities, according to the Connacht Tribune.
The man, who has very little English, went to Gardai with a friend to make a complaint against the farmer who has a large acreage, the regional newspaper reported.
He is reported to have been living in the Republic of Ireland for the past eight years and had previously been living in the Loughrea area, before beginning to work with the farmer in a different part of the county.
Minimum Wage in Ireland
In 2016, the minimum wage in the Republic of Ireland, currently stands at €9.15/hr for experienced adult workers, according to the Citizens Information Board.
However, if a worker is under 18-years-old they can be paid 70% of the minimum wage, €6.41/hr. When a worker reaches 18-years-old they are required to be paid a minimum of €7.32/hr or 80% of the total minimum wage.
If an employer cannot afford to pay the national minimum wage, the Labour Court may exempt an employer from paying the minimum wage rate for between three months and one year.
Meanwhile, the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 states that the maximum four-month-average working week for many employees cannot exceed 48hrs.