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Banded hours Bill would make a positive difference in the lives of workers - David Cullinane TD

1 February, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Workers' Rights and sponsor of the Banded Hours Bill 2016, told the Jobs Committee yesterday that the bill would make a material and positive difference to the lives of thousands of  workers in this state.

Speaking as a witness before the Committee, Deputy Cullinane said:

"The exploitation of people on low hour contracts, especially in the retail sector but across many other sectors, is an important issue. This Bill will allow workers to apply for a contract that is reflective of their actual working week.

“Unfortunately, we have far too many instances of workers who were on 15-hour contracts for perhaps ten years working 30 hours and 40 hours week in, week out. This is a way for companies to exploit their workers.

“This Bill offers a solution. It seeks to provide that a worker or his or her trade union representative, or a representative acting on his or her behalf, is entitled, after six months of continuous employment with his or her employer, to make a request in writing of the employer to be moved to a weekly band of hours reflective of their actual working week, as set out in the legislation.

“An unregulated labour market is in no-one's interests. It dehumanises workers, puts huge pressure on the State in social transfers, reduces people’s disposable income and impoverishes households and children.

“There is an onus on the State to regulate the labour market and ensure that workers’ rights, in terms of pay and conditions, are protected in law. This Bill will strengthen workers' rights by giving them access to a contract with which they can plan their lives. It will make a positive difference and I hope the Committee will endorse the sentiments and procedures behind it."

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