Snippet data - viewing only, no editing possible


Label

Field name

Field value


Sitting_Date

02/14/2018 12:00:00 AM


Sitting_Forum


Snippet Ref No

SnippetRefNo

EEE00200

Selected Quill

SnippetType

1

Saved Quill

SnippetType_C4D


Selected Quill

SnippetType_1

1

Speaker Name

IndxSpeakerName

Collins, Joan

Business Category

IndxMainHeadCat

Bills

Sub Category

IndxSubTopic

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

Topic

IndxQHeadTopic

Second Stage

See Also

SeeAlso


Part1

TitlePart1


Part2

TitlePart2


Part3

TitlePart3


Volume

VolumeNo

965

Book No

BookNo

5

Pdf Ref

PdfPageRef

656

Default Business Index

IndexViewCategoryDefault


3 Part Title Business Index

IndexViewCategoryTitle


Default Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryDefaultSpeaker

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017\Second Stage
Bills\Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017\Second Stage

3 Part Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryTitleSpeaker


Motion Code

MotionCode


Motion Title

MotionTitle


Stage

MotionStage


Amendment No

MotionAmendmentNo


Bill Code

BillCode

B2

Bill Title

BillTitle

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

Stage

BillStage

Second Stage

Section

BillSection


Statement Code

StatementCode


Statement Title

StatementTitle


Stage

StatementStage


Hour Indicator

HourIndicator

Not applicable

Procedural Instruction

Procedural_Instruction

No

Debate Adjourned

DebateAdjourned

No

Question Askee

QAskee


Question Asker

QAsker


Question Department

QDept


Question ID

QID


Question Reference

QRef


Question Speaker PID

QSpeakerPID


Question Speaker PID To

QSpeakerPIDTo


Questions Asked

QUESTIONSASKED


Speaker Type

SpeakerType

1

Speaker Name

Senator


Deputy


Minister


Witness


Chairman


ViceChairman


ActingChairmanD


ActingChairmanS


Speaker4Display

Speaker4Display

Deputy Joan Collins

Speaker

Speaker

Deputy Joan Collins

SpeakerPID

SpeakerPID

JoanCollins

SpeakerText

SpeakerText

Joan Collins

OriginalUnidSnippet

OriginalUnidSnippet

AC6E925DAFB5A720802582340075C34A

LastModifiedSnippet

LastModifiedSnippet

11/16/2018 04:22:47 PM

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

Snippet Contents:

I will share time with Deputy Clare Daly. We will take ten minutes each.
The last time I spoke on this issue I referred to an interview on the radio with Arne L. Kalleberg who is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. He recently wrote Precarious Lives: Job Insecurity and Well-Being in Rich Democracies. He reported on precarious work and if-and-when contracts in five countries, namely, the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain and Japan. He made the important point that this is all part of the neoliberal agenda and diktat that has gone across the world in the past 20 years. We had social partnership in Ireland from 1987 until the Towards 2016 partnership deal. This was supported by our unions, the bosses, the previous Government and the Labour Party. In the late 1990s, these new contracts started coming into the workplace and this was allowed to happen. The only people who really stood up against them were the Dunnes Stores workers when, in April 2015, 6,000 people went out in strike, demanding decent pay and working hours.
We have heard lots of testimony from workers about their experience in their workplace environments. I read a testimony from two workers in Dunnes Stores where one had a low number of hours and wanted more while the other had a high number of hours but wanted fewer. Both went to their manager and asked to swap but he said they could not. When asked why, he replied, "Because I said so." We heard of the testimony of the young man whose hours were cut from 40 to ten. If a person's hours are cut from 25 to 15, that is a loss of €100 per week. How can anyone plan to pay rent, electricity and gas bills, to travel to work, to put food on the table and to live a life with that sort of precarious employment? It has to go because this is the brutal reality facing thousands of workers on precarious contracts every day of the week. It also illustrates an attitude by certain employers towards those who work for them, service their customers and earn them their profits, which is that they are not valued or respected. They are denied dignity and are working in an environment in which the allocation of hours is used to maintain a compliant workforce. This is the so-called gig economy but there is nothing hip about it. It is not a lifestyle choice but a brutal campaign to enforce a race to the bottom, devalue labour, casualise work, drive down wages, prevent unionisation and destroy the gains won by workers over decades of struggle.
It is estimated that 130,000 workers are affected by low hours and insecurity of their hours and wages. The question of legislation in this area is extremely important but, disgracefully, Deputy Cullinane's perfectly good Bill, drawn up in consultation with the Mandate union, has been sent to purgatory. Instead we are discussing a much weaker Bill, which contains loopholes that will allow employers to get around the provisions, which they will. The Minister stated earlier that good employers have nothing to fear from the Bill. I put it on the record of the Dáil that bad employers will not be afraid of the Bill. Zero-hour contracts and if-and-when contracts must be comprehensively outlawed. The Bill needs to be amended to include a guaranteed minimum number of hours per week.
A general exception from minimum hours for so-called casual work will be exploited by employers to move staff to casual status. This is a glaring loophole in the proposed legislation. The look-back period of 18 months is much too long. The Minister referred to the University of Limerick report but, at the launch of Mandate's secure work campaign, it was emphatically stated that the look-back period should be no more than six months. The look-back is a reference to the hours actually worked in a certain period to establish the basis for minimum hours. There are two problems. First, under the Government's Bill, workers would be obliged to wait 18 months to get guaranteed hours. Second, this is an extended period for employers to get their ducks in a row and reduce the hours. Any look-back period in a Bill should apply from when the Bill is initiated. It should not apply 18 months after the Bill is enacted.
It is also the view of the union that the proposed bans in the Bill are too wide. Section 15 of the Bill sets out the bands proposed in a table. Band A is one hour to ten hours but we know the minimum is three hours. Band B is 11 hours to 24 hours, band C is 25 hours to 34 hours and band D is 35 hours and over. The unions favour a bandwidth of no more than five hours, that is, a band of 15 to 20 hours and so on. There needs to be an anti-victimisation clause to ensure that workers hours are not reduced for union activity or the making of a complaint. Employers are already legally required to keep working time records so there would be no additional regulatory burden on employers if they have to base this on the hours. The information is already there.
The issue of bogus self-employment has been mentioned and I am reading the report on it. There is a very good book called Ramshorn Republic by Martin McMahon, whom I believe the Minister has met. He explains his experience in the late 1990s of being a courier and describes going to the unions to try to establish that these self-employment contracts were wrong. A deal was made between the unions and these companies in 2000. He made the point to me that the cost to employers of paying back-money to workers would now be phenomenal if we were to ban bogus self-employment. He was saying there has to be a realistic approach to this issue. These forms of employment should be banned and outlawed and there should be a cut-off point of perhaps two years from when the legislation is introduced. This is an important area that must be addressed. We cannot continue to have workers being told they are self-employed and that they have to pay their own PRSI etc.
I urge all Deputies to support the amendments to be tabled on behalf of the unions when the Bill goes to Committee Stage. We need effective legislation in this area now.