I welcome the announcement by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor, of proposed new legislation to tackle issues related to zero hour contracts, banded hours and vulnerable workers.
The proposals address the issue of employees on low hour contracts who consistently work more hours each week but whose contracts do not reflect the reality of their hours worked. They also seek to ensure that employees are better informed about their employment arrangements and include provisions aimed particularly at low-paid, more vulnerable workers. The proposed legislation will also include an amendment to the Organisation of Working Time Act which will prohibit zero hour contracts in most circumstances.
“I am delighted that the Minister has made this issue a priority as it will improve the employment protections for low-paid, vulnerable workers in particular. It will also improve the predictability of hours of work and earnings for many employees whose contract of employment does not reflect the reality of the hours they work on a consistent basis.”
These proposals have been subject to broad consultation and represent a balanced response to the commitment in the Programme for Government to tackle problems caused by the increased casualization of work, to strengthen the regulation of precarious work and to make work pay. The Minister has listened carefully to all sides to ensure that the proposals are workable in practice, while minimising the impact on businesses.”
I hope that all parties in the Oireachtas will actively engage in pre-legislative scrutiny of these proposals.”
The draft legislation will now be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for priority drafting of a Bill.