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Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

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Snippet Contents:

That is why we are going to pass this Bill. I know the Deputies all want to make amendments to it and that is fine. We can discuss it. The reason for passing this legislation is to make sure that employees are treated with dignity and respect by the people they work for.
Deputies have referred to the fact that employers have been yielding huge profits over recent years. It would be remiss of me not to say that when a company is making money, the people responsible for its success are those who work for it. Business owners who do not reflect on that are exceptionally foolish. A happy workforce is an exceptionally productive one. We all have people working for us in our local teams and in here and we all know that the more respect is paid to employees, the more they give back. That is what this legislation will achieve, as amended by those who will make amendments in the coming weeks.
Many have said that while this legislation will be great, if it does not have the Workplace Relations Commission, WRC, inspectors to make sure it is implemented it will sit on a shelf and not be read. We have spoken to the WRC which has told us categorically that it is well equipped and has enough inspectors to be able to manage this legislation. It was brought to my attention last week that it set itself a target in the back of its annual report last year, expecting this legislation to be passed this year. I welcome that. As we should do with all legislation, if after a few months we reflect on it and find that it is not doing what we expected it to do, we will come back here to amend it. That may involve something as simple as giving more inspectors to the WRC. Our aim is to make sure employees feel comfortable making complaints and that those will be adjudicated on with respect for their dignity. They will have a sense of self-worth by getting up every day to go to a job they like, that pays the wages, and that allows them to have financial stability and to be treated with respect by other human beings who are making money off their backs.
I know the Deputies opposite will support the Bill because they want to do what I want to do, and we will come to a happy conclusion on Committee Stage and get a Bill that will protect workers. We want to make sure that in the few cases where unscrupulous employers take advantage of people, they will not be able to do it on our watch. I commend the Bill to the House.