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WRC Bill must protect workers’ identities - Louise O’Reilly TD

2 July, 2021 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said while she welcomes the Workplace Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which seeks to legislate for the Supreme Court judgement in the “Zalewski case”, she has concerns that the legislation will not sufficiently protect workers’ identities.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The issues which arose for the Workplace Relations Commission on the back of the ‘Zalewski case’ and subsequent Supreme Court judgement were real, were serious and needed immediate rectification.

“That is why, early in April, I drafted legislation, which sought to accommodate the judgement of the Supreme Court and rectify the issues it posed for the operation of the WRC.

“Thankfully, through working with Minister for State Damien English, the Department, and the Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee, we were able to come to broad agreement on the WRC Bill.

“However, there are aspects of the Bill which Sinn Féin believe need to be strengthened.

“Of particular concern is the idea that a worker’s name could be published by the WRC against their wishes, which could have a detrimental impact on their future employment opportunities.

“Therefore, I have included an amendment to the legislation to ensure the WRC does not include in a published decision the name of a party to proceedings where it is felt that to do so would detrimentally impact their capacity to secure employment in the future.

“Such an amendment would allow for discretion to be shown and for a workers name to be redacted from a published decision.

“I hope that the Minister and the government will see fit to accept the amendment because we cannot have a situation where a workers’ future employment opportunities are threatened because they once had to go to the WRC to vindicate their rights.” 

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