Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín called on the Minister for Jobs to introduce the Workplace Relations Bill before the Dáil goes into recess next week.
The Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson said:
“Three years have passed since the Minister for Jobs first announced his intention to reform the state’s workplace relations structures. Fianna Fáil equally dragged its heels on IR reform when in government.
“Sinn Féin has welcomed the proposed reform, enhancement and simplifying of the industrial relations systems. It is widely accepted that our IR structures have become complex and increasingly difficult to navigate.
“Government Ministers yesterday finally signed off on the Workplace Relations Bill, and I am now calling on the Jobs Minister to introduce the legislation before the Dáil goes into recess next week.
“Over 15,000 complaints were made to the Labour Relations Court last year and a lack of adequate staffing is a perennial problem across the industrial relations system. Streamlining the structures will of course introduce efficiencies but the Minister’s intent to cut the overall workforce by 20 per cent does not tally with the commitment to speed up and enhance the system.
“It also appears the Minister has excluded the objective of delivering a rights based approach to the state’s industrial relations structures. Delivering a better service for employers and employees and savings for taxpayers, workers and businesses should be a given. Enhancement of workers and employment rights should be centre stage.
“In the party’s submission to the Consultation on the Reform of the State’s Employment Rights and Industrial Relations Structures and Procedures, Sinn Féin stated firmly that rationalising existing structure’s must be about enhancing and building on existing workers and employment rights legislation.
“Structures and procedures are only as good as the law allows.”