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Stronger action needed from Minister Humphreys on harassment within cultural sector - Peadar Tóibín TD

23 November, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Culture, Peadar Tóibin TD has highlighted the difficulties that exist in working in the cultural sector regarding bullying and harassment and has urged Minister Humphreys to withhold grant funding for organisations that consistently break the law in this regard.  

Deputy Tóibín, who is chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Heritage, Culture and the Gaeltacht which met today on this issue said:

“There are laws, there are regulatory bodies, yet there are significant difficulties with bullying and harassment. This has a serious effect on the mental health of workers and their ability to earning a living, put a roof over their head and feed their kids.

"A number of people have felt that they had no choice but to go to the media to resolve their issues. We owe an enormous debt to the individuals. To do so can be in some cases be career-ending.

“There are startling figures in the Equity report on the experience of workers in the sector. Nearly 60% of workers state that they have been bullied. Over 70% of these people did not report the bullying and over 60% stated that they did not report the bullying for fear it would jeopardise future work opportunities.

“There is a need for clear procedures. There is a need for unions, workers, the department and stakeholders to come together.

“Direct employment needs to be incentivised as opposed to the precarious employment that exists now. Black listing legislations needs to be enacted to protect those who make a stand. The Minister needs to withhold grant funding for organisations that consistently break the law.”

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