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Defence Force Personnel must be protected under Working Time Directive – Aengus O Snodaigh TD

13 June, 2019 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence teachta Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the Government to ensure that Defence Force Personnel are protected under the Working Time Directive, which defines the working week for workers.

Commenting on the amendment proposed by Sinn Féin on the PMB motion discussed in the Dáil this week and legislation, introduced by the party today, to bring defence force members under the remit of the Organisation of the Working Time Directive, teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

“Our amendment calls for the Government to bring forward, within a six month period, legislation to provide for the application of the Working Time Directive to members of the Defence Forces.

“While every member of the defence forces accepts the unique nature of their service to the state and understands the need to be available in times of emergency, this should not be exploited or taken advantage of.

“The rights of those in the defence forces should not be lesser than those of other workers.

“In fact, it could be argued that the State has a greater duty to those who serve to protect the people, at great cost to themselves and their families.

“We are also in the midst of a crisis in the defence forces as those serving are leaving in their droves, without being replaced to the extent needed, mainly as a result of ongoing issues in relation to terms and conditions.

“The courts have found the state to be in breach of EU law in relation to this issue and there are currently a number of cases before the courts awaiting hearing.

“Instead of dragging more cases through the courts, the Government needs to act on this issue and I am calling on the Minister to support our call for legislation on this issue."

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