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Foot-dragging by Government on 'If & When' contract reforms must end

14 November 2017

Statement by Senator Ged Nash
Spokesperson on Employment and Social Protection

The Government must stop dragging their feet on planned new laws to give workers on "if & when" contracts more certainty over their working hours said Labour spokesperson on Workers Rights, Senator Ged Nash, as he endorsed the 'Secure Hours = Better Future' Campaign launched by Mandate trade union today seeking six clear pledges in the proposed legislation from Minister Doherty.

Senator Nash said:

"Two years ago this month, I published the groundbreaking research and recommendations designed to reform the whole area of precarious work and uncertain hours.

"As the architect of this initiative, it appals me to see so many hardworking people going to bed on a Sunday night still not knowing how many hours they will work during the week and therefore how much they will earn.

"We have been told on countless occasions that reforms are on the way, yet all we see is delay and prevarication.

"Any improvements to the status quo in this area are welcome but I predict that Fine Gael will only go as far as as the employer bodies are prepared to allow in reforming this area of employment law.

"From what we know at this point, the bands of hours to be proposed by government are far too broad. We also know that the look-back period to be used in order to have the reality of your working hours reflected in an appropriate band in your contract is far too long and should be shortened considerably.

"The Labour Party endorses the 'Secure Hours = Better Future' campaign launched today by Mandate trade union seeking six clear pledges in the proposed legislation due shortly from Minister Doherty, and backs the calls for laws that will ensure a threshold of decency in our workplaces. I hope all those parties who call themselves of the Opposition will support the inclusion of these key parameters in the legislation."