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Five fold increase in breaches of worker's holiday entitlements disturbing - Morgan

19 May, 2006


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Employment and Workers Rights, Arthur Morgan T.D., has described as "deeply disturbing" the revelation, in reply to a parliamentary question from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, that there was a five fold increase in the number of employers found to be in breach of both annual leave entitlements and public holiday entitlements.

Deputy Morgan said, "I asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment for details regarding the number of instances identified by the Labour Inspectorate of employers denying workers their statutory holiday entitlements.

"The Minister revealed that in 2005 89 employers were found to be in breach of public holiday entitlements compared to 17 in 2003. He also revealed that 40 employers were found to be in breech of annual leave entitlements in 2005 compared to 8 in 2003. This represents a five fold increase in both cases and is deeply disturbing.

"These figures cannot be put down to increased vigilance from the labour inspectorate in light of the fact that there were only 5,719 inspections in 2005 compared to 7,168 in 2003.

"It is clear that the failure of enforcement and compliance mechanisms is sending a message to employers that they can do what they like. Employers are clearly taking advantage of the weak enforcement regime and this cannot be allowed to continue. Enforcement mechanisms must be effective in promoting a high level of compliance with employment rights legislation if the erosion of worker rights is to be halted. More resources and staff must be made available to the labour inspectorate. Penalties for non compliance must be increased so that they represent a real deterrent to this type of behaviour from exploitative employers." ENDS

Dáil Question and reply follows...

DAIL QUESTION - NO.144

To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of instances identified by the Labour Inspectorate of employers denying workers their statutory holiday entitlements in 2005 and in each of the previous five years.

- Arthur Morgan.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 18th May, 2006.

Ref No: 18897/06

R E P L Y

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Killeen)

The Organisation of Working Time Act makes provision for holiday entitlements in respect of most employees. Employees who have been denied their statutory holiday entitlement under the Act have a right of complaint to a Rights Commissioner.

Holiday entitlements of employees in certain categories of employment are determined by the provisions contained in Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements, which are enforced by the Labour Inspectorate.

The number of instances identified by the Labour Inspectorate of employers in breach of public holiday and annual holiday provisions for the years 2003 to 2005 are set out in the attached tabular statement. The statistics in respect of the years 2001 and 2002 are not available.

Year Breach of public holiday provisions Breach of annual holiday provisions

2003 17 8

2004 57 32

2005 89 40

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