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Bill giving workers a right to more hours welcomed – Quinlivan

5 July, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has welcomed a bill that would allow workers to increase the numbers of hours they work.

Speaking during debate on the Sinn Féin Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016, Deputy Quinlivan said: 

“As Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, our party policy is very clear when it comes to economy recovery. Increased employment must mean increased prosperity for workers.

“As it stands, we have the second highest numbers of workers on low pay in the OECD.

“It is not acceptable that 400,000 workers or 30 percent of the workforce now earn below the low pay threshold of €12.20 an hour.

“Sinn Féin wants a fair recovery and that means decent jobs and decent pay. The bottom line is that work must pay.

“In 2015, the Government spent a record €350 million subsidizing the incomes of thousands of families in low-paid work.

The problem is that this state money also subsidizes the profits of wealthy companies like Tesco and Dunne’s Stores.

“The Rise of people in receipt of supplement; almost 60 percent since 2010 is topping up employers low pay and highlights the extent to which working families are at risk of poverty. 

“We know that people on low hours or temporary contracts are most at risk of being low paid.

“We also know that precarious working conditions are on the increase across a rising number of sectors; including the civil service, nursing, teaching, and others.

“There is an onus on the state to regulate the labour market and ensure workers’ rights, particularly in terms of pay and conditions are protected in law.

“Low pay, precarious work, and the chipping away of workers’ rights are bad for the economy and bad for society. 

“An unregulated labour market is in no one’s interests. 

“In this context, the Banded Hours Contract Bill is an important step forward in protecting the rights and dignity of large numbers of vulnerable workers.” 

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