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Morgan welcomes positive response from Minister to proposal for penalty points system for rogue employers

24 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Economic Affairs and Employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has welcomed the comments by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mícheál Martin in the Dail today that the proposals from Sinn Féin for the introduction of a penalty points system was a "useful suggestion".

Morgan said, "Penalties for non-compliance with labour law must be increased to a level where they actually act as a deterrent to employers who may otherwise be inclined to flout the law. Sinn Féin has put forward proposals to introduce a penalty point system to deal with 'rogue' employers and companies that consistently transgress employment law. During Oral Questions to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mícheal Martin today I raised our proposal with him. I welcome his comments that this was a 'useful proposal'.

"I will be writing to the Minister to outline the detail of Sinn Féin's proposal and to see if moves can be made to deliver on this measure.

"It is clear that the introduction of a penalty point system would make a considerable difference in increasing the deterrents for employers who presently think they can get away with flouting the law and exploiting workers". ENDS

Details of Sinn Féin proposal

Introduce a penalty point system to deal with 'rogue' employers and companies that consistently transgress employment law. Application of the following sanctions to those who reach a specified threshold of penalty points:

- Disqualification of liable individuals from holding any managerial role in a company for a period of years, in line with existing comparable provisions in company law allowing for disqualification on the basis of other forms of wrongdoing.

- Removal from the company register by the Companies Registration Office (CRO) in the 26 Counties or from the companies registry by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in the 6 Counties.

- Imposition of Adverse Publicity Orders (requiring public advertisement of conviction at own expense) on employers convicted on serious breaches of employment law, particularly breaches of minimum wage legislation and legally binding Employment Regulation Orders (setting rates of pay and conditions in a given sector).

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