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Ten-year term limit for Worker Directors of port companies must be removed – McDonald

6 December, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald today introduced legislation to remove the ten-year term limit imposed on Employee Directors of port companies.

The Sinn Féin Deputy Leader said:

“The Harbours Act of 2015 included a provision to restrict to ten years the period of service Directors can serve on a port company board. This restriction makes eminent sense for appointed Directors; but very little in the case of Employee or Worker Directors who are elected by their colleagues.

“There are many members of the Dáil elected by the people who have served in excess of ten years. Why then has Government deemed it appropriate to intrude in the internal democracy of harbour companies? 

“The legislation I have introduced today seeks to corrects this anomaly and recognise the distinct position of worker directors. Employees should be able to vote for the candidate of their choice. 

“Employee Directors play a valuable role on semi state company boards however; their numbers have been diminished for some time now. Yet in other countries Employee Directors are the norm in both the public and private sectors. 

“Diversity in the boardroom is widely acknowledged as essential to the healthy functioning of an organisation. 

“It is my strong view that the state must lead from the front, setting the bar on delivering such diversity of board membership. Yet this Government like the one that has gone before it does not have a great track record in this regard. 

“Gender balance on state boards still varies across Government Departments, with just over half of boards under the remit of Government departments failing to meet the existing 40% gender quota. 

“Diversity of state board membership, including gender parity and employee directors, must become the norm in the interest of good governance.” 

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