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Scandal of low pay in the Hospitality industry – Gavan

1 July, 2016 - by Paul Gavan

Speaking in the Seanad yesterday, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan highlighted the issue of low pay in the Hospitality industry, and called on the Government to implement the recommendations of the UL report on the prevalence of zero hour contracts.

Senator Gavan was speakign to Pat Breen, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business.

 Senator Gavan said:

“There is a scandal of low pay in this country. In particular the hospitality industry, an industry that has for some time now enjoyed a generous tax break of a reduced VAT rate of 9%, costing taxpayers 650 million euro a year.

 “Despite these tax breaks, recent research from TASC has described the sector as characterised by what are effectively known as zero hour contracts.

 “Minister, none of these contracts, which are in fact the new norm for the hospitality sector, give any guarantees in relation to hours of work. This leaves tens of thousands of workers each week in a state of complete financial insecurity - not knowing from one week to another what hours of work they will get.

“The Irish Hotels Federation refuses to engage with the industrial relations statutory bodies, such as the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court, with regard to establishing a new Joint Labour Committee.

“What’s even more frustrating is that you’ve had a report sitting on your departments desk for eight months now that tells you that’s these problems exist and gives clear guidelines on the legislative changes that are needed.

“Minister, when exactly are you going to implement the recommendations of UL report on prevalence of zero hour contracts?” 

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