Sunday, 17th December 2017
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Sinn Féin spokesperson Brexit and Workers’ Rights David Cullinane TD said that the issue of low-hour contracts, not zero-hour contracts, is the one facing workers today and that the government’s proposals are weak and ineffective.

The Waterford TD said:

"The government’s proposal to tackle zero-hour working practices is a white elephant.

"Zero-hours working practices have been severely restricted in the south since 1997. The issue is low-hour and if-and-when contracts.

"They have led to serious issues in terms of employment security and stability for ordinary workers and they should be curtailed through legislation

"This was the main finding of the University of Limerick report into the issue of work contracts in 2015.

"The government's proposals will not do that as they are designed to ‘outlaw’ a practice that is at the margins of contract arrangements, while ignoring the key issue which is precarious work.

"I have produced a bill that will tackle if-and-when contracts.

"The Banded Hours Bill was supported by the Dáil and went through a rigorous process of pre-legislative scrutiny in the Jobs Committee. The Committee produced a report and backed the bill with amendments.

"It is now ready to be amended and I will be asking for leave to refer it back to committee at the earliest opportunity.

"An unregulated labour market is in no-one’s interests. It dehumanises workers, puts huge pressure on the State in social transfers, reduces people’s disposable income and impoverishes households and children.

"There is an onus on the State to regulate the labour market and ensure that workers’ rights, in terms of pay and conditions, are protected in law.

"My Bill strengthens workers’ rights by giving them access to a contract with which they can plan their lives. It will make a positive difference and I look forward to bringing it back to the Dáil for a final vote to make it law."

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