2015 will be a key year for workers and their dependents
Issued : Thursday 18 December, 2014
Workers and their dependents can expect 2015 will bring real benefits in their wage packets while key legislation will enhance their rights and working conditions, according to Labour Party Dublin City Councillor, Alison Gilliland.
Among the major reforms announced:
- Legislation for an improved framework for workers who seek to better their terms and conditions where collective bargaining is not recognised by their employer. It is anticipated that the draft legislation will become law by mid-2015;
- Low Pay Commission is being established to examine advise the Government on the appropriate rate of the minimum wage on an annual basis;
- The Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, has issued a call for tenders to carry out a study into the prevalence of zero hour and low hour contracts and the impact of such contracts on employees;
- The proposed Workplace Relations Bill, currently at Report stage will, when enacted, replace the current five workplace relations bodies with two. The new system will provide a world-class service for employers and employees, while also delivering savings for the taxpayer. The new workplace relations system will comprise two bodies – the Workplace Relations Commission which will deal with complaints at first instance, and the Labour Court which will deal with appeals;
- 200,000 SMEs and 12,000 start-ups every year will be able to substantially reduce the costs and time associated with establishing and running a company, as a result of a range of reforms to be introduced as part of the landmark Companies Bill. The Bill, which has passed all stages in the Houses of the Oireachtas and has been sent to the President.
“Minister Nash has been very pro-active in the area of workers’ rights and the initiatives announced represents the delivery of an important Government commitment and continues the dignity of work agenda that the Labour Party is anxious to fulfil,” said Cllr. Gilliland.
In addition, Cllr. Gilliland pointed out that Budget 2015 will see tax being reduced for low and middle-income earners to ensure that those at work take home more and begin to benefit from the recovery. Among the progressive measures being taken are:
- A further 80,000 low paid workers are being taken out of USC with an increase in the entry point to €12,012
- Cut in lower rates of USC from 2% to 1.5% and from 4% to 3.5%
- The standard rate band of income tax has been widened by €1,000 to €33,800 to take 33,000 people out of the top rate
- The marginal rate of tax has been cut by 1% for workers earning from €33,800 up to €70,000.
“The Labour Party will continue to focus on jobs and recovery in 2015. There are now 27,600 extra people at work than a year ago, with 80,000 additional people at work since the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs was launched. That is real progress,” said Cllr. Gilliland.