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 Header Item Gender Recognition Bill 2014 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages (Continued)
 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill 2015: Instruction to Committee

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 886 No. 4

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Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I move amendment No. 10:

In page 9, line 14, to delete "18 years" and substitute "16 years".

This calls for a reduction in the age requirement to apply for a gender recognition certificate from 18 years to 16 years. A number of my points have already been made. At 16 years of age, one can consent to medical procedures. A 16 year old should also have the right to vote. It is only a matter of time before that is introduced. At 16 years of age, one can leave school, go to work and pay taxes. The Minister of State could have agreed to this change. There cannot be inequality between young people and those aged over 18 years. A young person aged between 16 and 18 years who is capable of making the decision should be able to apply for a certificate.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Joanna Tuffy): Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy I must interrupt the Deputy.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger This debate is being guillotined. A group of people needed greater ventilation of these issues. The proposal on the Order of Business was bad.

Deputy Kevin Humphreys: Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys There was a long debate on Committee Stage that was not guillotined.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Joanna Tuffy): Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy I cannot allow the Minister of State to-----

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I am sorry, but I am not on that committee.

Deputy Kevin Humphreys: Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys The Deputy was entitled to attend the meeting.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger Not all Deputies are on committees.

Deputy Kevin Humphreys: Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys The Deputy is entitled to make a contribution on Committee Stage.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger We should all attend one another's committees, so. I am referring to the full Dáil.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The full Dáil is-----

Acting Chairman (Deputy Joanna Tuffy): Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy As it is 2.30 p.m., I am now required to put the following question in accordance with an order of the Dáil of this day: "That the amendments set down by the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection undisposed of are hereby made to the Bill, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed."

  Question put and agreed to.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Joanna Tuffy): Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy The Bill, which is considered to be a Bill initiated in Dáil Éireann in accordance with Article 20.2.2° of the Constitution, will be sent to the Seanad.

Business of Dáil

Acting Chairman (Deputy Joanna Tuffy): Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy I wish to announce that the sequence of Topical Issues has been changed. The first issue will be in the name of Deputy McEntee, the second in the names of Deputies McLellan and Maureen O'Sullivan, the third in the name of Deputy Ó Cuív and the fourth in the name of Deputy Aylward.

National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill 2015: Instruction to Committee

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Gerald Nash): Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash I move:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 177, Standing Order 131 is modified to permit an instruction to the Committee to which the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill 2015 may be recommitted in respect of certain amendments, for which it has power to make provision in the Bill in relation to:
(a) the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and employment rights and equality enactments, which are of a technical and drafting nature, which are required to ensure that the transitional arrangements and new adjudication and redress structures arising from the establishment of the new simplified two-tier adjudication structures are legally robust; as a result it will be necessary to introduce amendments to sections 76, 80, 81, 83 and 84 of the Act;

(b) these amendments to the aforementioned sections of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 will also result in the requirement to make consequential amendments to the Redundancy Payments Act 1967, the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977, the Protection of Employees (Employer's Insolvency) Act 1984, the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 and the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994;

(c) technical and drafting amendments to sections 1, 2, 28, 40, 41, 53, 74, Schedule 3 and Schedule 4 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015;

(d) introduce a number of additional provisions in the Act to provide for a range of technical and transitional issues consequential on the transfer of functions from the Director of the Equality Tribunal to the Director of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) - these amendments provide, for example, for the transfer of property, rights and liabilities etc. which were vested in the Director of the Equality Tribunal to the Director of the WRC upon commencement of sections 83 and 84 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015; and

(e) the Freedom of Information Act 2014 to ensure that the exemption from the FOI legislation which currently applies to the Equality Tribunal insofar as it relates to its mediation functions will be extended to the WRC upon commencement of the Workplace Relations Act 2015; the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has agreed to the extension of the current exemption to ensure that it will cover records of the WRC Mediation Service insofar as it applies to its functions in relation to the resolution of complaints and disputes on a voluntary basis under both equality and employment enactments;
and to change the title of the Bill and make other consequential amendments required to take account of the changes above."

Deputies will recall that I indicated on Second Stage that I would introduce these amendments on Report Stage. I understand that Deputies have received an information note setting out the purpose of these amendments.

  As Deputies will be aware, my colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Bruton, has been implementing a programme of reform of the State's employment rights and industrial relations procedures and institutions since 2012. His aim is to establish a world-class workplace relations service and employment rights framework by streamlining the existing mechanisms and establishing a simpler structure while building upon the recognised strengths of the existing systems.

  The reform programme is at an advanced stage and the legislation that will give statutory effect to these reforms, namely, the Workplace Relations Act 2015, was signed into law by the President on 20 May. The Minister has announced that the WRC will commence on 1 October 2015.


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