Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government Bill fails to protect workers against precarious working conditions – John Brady TD

14 February, 2018 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, John Brady TD, has said that the Government’s employment legislation fails to even cover the basics when it comes to tackling precarious working conditions.

Speaking following this evening’s debate on the legislation, Teachta Brady said:

“This evening, we debated Government legislation which we are told seeks to 'strengthen rights for workers on insecure contracts and those working variable hours' yet, it fails to ban zero hour contracts and is swayed very much in the employer’s favour.

“The most frightening aspect of the Bill on first look is the hourly bands proposed by the Government which are far too wide.

"If one looks at the first proposed band as an example 1 hour to 10 hours, that means that a worker in this band will have weekly hours varying from one hour to ten hours and anything in between.

"The bands being proposed in this Bill are ludicrous, and worse than that, they are untested.

“There are workers out there who have no idea week to week what hours they will work or what income they will receive.

"They cannot plan from week to week, they cannot apply for a loan, let alone even dream of a mortgage, and they have no idea if they will be able to afford their rent or their bills, from one month to the next.

“It really is beyond comprehension that the Government would commit in the Programme for Government to tackle the problems caused by casualisation of work preventing job security - and then, in response to this introduce a Bill that fails to prohibit zero hour contracts, introduces an 18 month look back period to the benefit of employers, and weekly bands which are far too wide.

“While Sinn Féin will support this Bill, we fully intend to submit amendments at Committee Stage to ensure that the issues we have raised are dealt with.”

Connect with Sinn Féin