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Monday, 4th December 2017

Government foot-dragging on zero hours contracts legislation must end - Nash

Business

Senator Ged Nash

Labour Party spokesperson on Employment and Social Protection, Senator Ged Nash, has called on the Government to stop dragging its feet on legislation that would guarantee the right to a minimum range of secure working hours and to prohibit the use zero hours contracts.

This follows the publication of a report by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which show that precarious work has skyrocketed with 160,000 workers experiencing significant variations in their hours of work from week to week in 2016.

Senator Nash said: "Two years on from the publication of the seminal University of Limerick report on the prevalence of precarious work, we are still waiting for the most basic of those recommendations to find their way into law.

"In the meantime the numbers of working people across the country who go to bed on a Sunday night not knowing how many hours they will work that week has been on the rise. This puts an intolerable strain on families who are finding it hard to plan their lives and to make ends meet.

"The increasing prevalence of precarious work on the employment landscape manifesting itself in bogus self-employment has seen a considerable jump too.

"This practice where employers force workers into false self-employed arrangements to disguise their true employment status in order to avoid their tax and PRSI responsibilities is rising dramatically.

"This insidious practice which is common in construction, the media, IT and other sectors denies workers their rights and deprives them of key social welfare entitlements.

"ICTU’s support for Labour's Bill to eliminate bogus self-employment is welcome and this report shows the need for this widespread practice to be ended urgently - in the interests of both working people and the exchequer.

"I published this Bill two weeks ago and Labour Senators will table the legislation for debate in the Seanad in the New Year."

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