News & Media

Four years on FG continues to abandon workers caught up in liquidations

20 May 2020

Statement by Ged Nash TD
Spokesperson on Employment and Social Protection

Ged Nash TD has slammed Fine Gael for failing to legislate to protect and improve the rights of workers in liquidations, four years on from the publication of the Duffy-Cahill review which was prompted by the Clery’s debacle.

Labour’s Employment spokesperson, speaking after he attended a protest by Debenham’s workers at Leinster House said:

“The entire country was scandalised at the treatment of the Clery’s workers in 2015.

“The State swore that never again would citizens be discarded and treated the way in which the Clery’s workers were. They were left on the side of the road on O’Connell Street on a Friday afternoon, dependent on the State to step in and pay their redundancies.

“I published the Duffy-Cahill review in 2016. It recommended important changes in terms how our employment laws interface with company law.

“Key measures recommended from the report included the opportunity for creditors (including employees and the State) to be enabled to recover an asset, or the proceeds of the sale of an asset, where employers transfer such as assets from the business with the effect that a fraud is perpetrating on the employees.

The Louth TD continued:

“Four years on from the Duffy-Cahill review, Fine Gael still refuses to legislate to implement these recommendations.

“As sure as night follows day, businesses will use the cover of the pandemic to restructure their operations, putting jobs and suppliers at risk and moving assets out of the reach of those who are owed money.

"Never was the need for such protections more essential. The Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection needs once and for all to do the right thing, change the law and empower her own Department to seize back the money the taxpayer will inevitably have to fork out to pay statutory redundancy entitlements of Debenham’s workers and possibly many thousands more workers who may end up being caught up in insolvencies in light of the Covid-19 emergency.”