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Minister Nash Commits to Zero Hour Research but not to Legislation – Tóibín

3 November, 2015

Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín TD has criticised Minister Ged Nash for not doing enough for workers on zero hour, low hour, and ‘If and When’ contracts; saying that under this government, workers’ rights have been slowly eroded.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“Zero Hour Contracts, Low Hour Contracts and ‘If and When’ Contracts have become embedded within the economy over the last number of years. Ireland has a significant low pay problem and casual insecure work in now entrenched in Ireland’s labour force. 

“Sinn Féin, the unions and many workers across the state have articulated clearly over and over that these contracts have radically changed the nature of employment for thousands of workers. This crisis came to ahead with the Dunnes Stores strike just over 6 months ago.

“Ignoring the urgency of thousands of workers lives, Labour Party Minister Jed Nash tasked Limerick University to research what he should have already known, that these contracts have led to unpredictable working hours, unstable income, difficulties in accessing financial credit difficulties in managing work and family life.

“Under this government’s tenure, employment contracts allowing for insufficient notice and being sent home during a shift have been allowed evolve. Some unscrupulous employers have been able to penalise staff through reduced hours, dodge sick pay, and decrease staff numbers without regulation. It is also the case that some of these contracts are structured in a fashion that they are not Contracts of Employment at all.

“While many of the recommendations within the Limerick University Report would bring improvements if they are legislated upon they will not lift families out of precarious employment. I published a bill this year that, if implemented, would rebalance the rights of employees and employers and give workers the right, after six months of continuous employment to migrate from low hours to decent hour contracts. The Minister needs to act as a matter of urgency and not allow the report become a manifesto.” 

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