Night economy changes must not solely focus on licensing. Pay for bar and club workers must be included.
22 February 2021
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
- Night-time economy must not be just seen as a hospitality business, it is about culture in our cities and towns.
- Workers, clubbers and communities must be included in the conversation.
- Late night workers must be prioritised with 1.5 times the normal rate of pay.
- Investment in public transport necessary.
- Night Mayor must be revisited.
Labour arts spokesperson Senator Marie Sherlock has welcomed the news that an overdue update to our licencing laws for clubs and pubs is in progress. Reacting to the news, Senator Sherlock said that the Government must implement these changes in line with a wider strategy for the night-time economy.
“A new licensing system is well overdue. Our night-time economy was badly in need of nurturing in our cities and towns before Covid came onshore, and we now must be planning for protecting this sector in a post pandemic world. People will want to get out and socialise again once it is safe to do so, and there is huge opportunity to build a better night-time economy post-Covid.
“In any plan, we need to ensure that bar and club workers are looked after in this new future regime. Labour has continued to call for a late night reward rate for working such late hours at 1.5 times the normal rate.
“We also must ensure that our public transport infrastructure is robust enough to bring workers and revellers safely to and from these hubs. Labour has long called for expanding 24-hour public transport on key routes which would be key to improve access to cultural and social spaces within cities and towns.
“In imagining a better future in this country, one in which a vibrant night-time economy is valued, we need to include all participants in the conversation – clubbers and revellers, club and bar owners, club and bar workers, and of course, local communities. Later opening hours aren’t just good for the people who want to enjoy them, they also contribute massively to the economy which is why Labour has long called for the Government and Dublin City Council to consider introducing a ‘Night Mayor’ to oversee this and build a thriving night-time economy.
“This is vital if we are to think of night-time economy as a cultural feature of our cities and towns as opposed to looking at it solely through the lens of a business or entertainment provision. Progress by Government in this area is welcome, but it should be part of a wider strategy on the night-time economy with people at the heart of the plan.”