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07/30/2020 12:00:00 AM


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O'Reilly, Louise

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Bills

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Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020

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Committee and Remaining Stages

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996

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3

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Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020\Committee and Remaining Stages
Bills\Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020\Committee and Remaining Stages

3 Part Topic Index

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B3a

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Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020

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Committee and Remaining Stages

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No

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Senator


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Deputy Louise O'Reilly

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Deputy Louise O'Reilly

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LouiseOReilly

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Louise O'Reilly

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01/08/2021 12:47:22 PM

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Snippet Contents:

My amendments were ruled out of order. They referred to facilitating the establishment of workers' co-operatives. In the North, Scotland and across Europe, workers' co-operatives and community co-operatives are very much the norm, but they are not the norm in this country. It is a very good way of working. I read in the newspaper recently about a co-operative of migrant workers who came together to provide a not-for-profit home care service. If ever there was a place that needed a not-for-profit home care service, it is this State. We have debated at length the need for in-home care for people and giving them that choice and opportunity. Workers' co-operatives are a fantastic way to do that.
Amendments Nos. 3 to 8, inclusive, sought to make changes to allow for the formation of these co-operatives, to reduce the number required to establish a company board and to make provision for the creation of a legal definition for co-operatives. I stress that workers' co-operatives are a different way of doing business. We all talk at length about how we are living in unprecedented times and say that this is perhaps an opportunity for people. If there is an opportunity here to re-imagine how we do business and workers' rights, which I would love too, and to re-imagine the area of workers' co-operatives, we should take it. I was disappointed that the amendments were ruled out of order. Where businesses are struggling, the option of saving them through the formation of a workers' co-operative can be viable in some instances. We should be trying to create the conditions to facilitate that. If businesses are struggling, the employees or staff in some instances might want to be able to come together to form a workers' co-operative, as happens in many other countries in Europe. It is a mechanism through which one can maintain employment and continuity of service. The business can be kept alive. It is ideal for our State. It would be a good opportunity to see wealth and jobs created locally and kept within our communities. We have fallen behind the rest of Europe and my amendments sought to give us an opportunity to catch up.
I welcome what the Minister said about us meeting in September to talk about tactical insolvencies. While we are there we might also have a chat about workers' co-operatives and the potential they offer. Historically, this island was a pioneer in respect of agricultural co-operatives. The Minister of State will be familiar with them, as I am. We are all talking about re-imagining business. The opportunity exists to do that. That was the purpose of my amendments and I am disappointed they have been ruled out of order. Notwithstanding that, I believe there is scope for us to discuss workers' co-operatives, perhaps not as part of this legislation but at some time in the near future.