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Ex Debenhams workers protest in Cork after being made redundant Alamy Stock Photo

Cabinet to discuss strengthening redundancy laws

A wave of redundancies have been taking place in the tech sector since Twitter and Meta announced job losses last autumn.

MINISTER FOR ENTERPRISE Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, will bring a memo to cabinet to strengthen redundancy legislation today which would make all collective redundancies subject to a 30-day notification period.

This would involve removing an exemption from notification requirements in respect of collective redundancies caused by the employer’s insolvency.

The legislation would also allow employees to seek redress from the Workplace Relations Commission where their employer makes them redundant before the 30-day notification period finishes.

This change would apply to all collective redundancies, not just those precipitated by insolvency.

This is in addition to employees’ existing right to make a complaint to the WRC should their employer fail to consult with or provide information to their representatives.

Another proposed change is that the employer’s obligations must also be complied with by a liquidator or similar appointee, where they are managing the collective redundancy process in an insolvency situation.

Where a liquidator or similar appointee fails to comply with their duties under the Act, the WRC may prosecute them.

The new legislation would aim to improve the quality and circulation of information to workers as creditors to ensure they have access, within a reasonable period, to the company’s Statement of Affairs which is filed with the court.

It would also ensure that the provisional liquidator informs workers of his/her appointment, explains the liquidation process and invites them to provide relevant information.

In February Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that Coveney was engaging with the tech sector “at the highest level” after Google announced it would cut 240 employees from its Irish workforce.

A wave of redundancies have been taking place in the tech sector since Twitter and Meta announced job losses last autumn.

Then-Taoiseach Micheál Martin called on companies to give employees the required amount of time before making them redundant, after it appeared that Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, intended to terminate employees immediately.

“Employees of any company must be treated with respect and dignity,” Martin said.

“It’s unacceptable what’s happening within Twitter in terms of employees who must have a very uncertain future.”

It was revealed last month that Meta and TikTok had both declined invitations to appear before the Oireachtas Media Committee for a session on the social media platform’s future business model plans and long-term vision for the media sector.

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