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Government must stop delay in introducing agency workers’ legislation following British introduction – Morgan

20 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Workers' Rights Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has called on the Government to end its delay on legislation for agency workers, after the British Government today agreed on agency worker legislation going through their parliament this Autumn.

Ireland and Britain, along with Hungary were the only three states who opposed the EU Directive on Agency Workers.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said:

"The legislation proposals being put forward by the British Government today do not go far enough for agency workers, but they are a good start and strive to guarantee equal treatment of agency workers. Our own Government has been dragging its heels on this issue for many years and the best we have from it so far is a promise to introduce legislation before the end of the year.

"All that we know of this legislation is that it will, in the words of former Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Mícheal Martin, 'meet to the maximum extent the agreed commitments in Towards 2016'.

"The commitments set out in 2016 are extremely limited and the problems associated with agency workers have escalated hugely since that document was signed. Towards 2016 entails technical regulations for agencies such as licensing, whereas the trade union movement and Sinn Féin are calling for legislation on agency workers to be drawn up based on the principle of equal treatment and to become applicable after six weeks of employment.

"Britain has today predicated the progress of its legislation on whether or not the EU Directive on Agency Workers goes ahead this year. We don't need to wait for Europe to sign off on legislation for this - we should show that we still have a social conscience and introduce domestic legislation immediately." ENDS

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