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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

Government to block Sinn Féin plan on multiple redundancies

Sinn Féin’s legislation would have required companies to give longer notice periods if they were laying off large numbers.

The legislation put forward by Sinn Féin's Peadar Toibín will be opposed in the Dáil tomorrow night.
The legislation put forward by Sinn Féin's Peadar Toibín will be opposed in the Dáil tomorrow night.

THE GOVERNMENT has indicated it is to vote against proposals from Sinn Féin which would require employers to give a longer notice period of significant numbers of redundancies.

The legislation, put forward by the party’s enterprise spokesman Peadar Toibín, would have extended the 30-day notice period required for redundancies to 60 days in cases where more than 20 people were employed, and 90 days for companies employing over 100 people.

Similar extensions were proposed for consultation periods with employee representatives and the time within which a worker was entitled to hearings at the Labour Court or Labour Relations Tribunal.

The legislation had been tabled to coincide with International Labour Day, May 1, with a vote to be taken in the Dáil tomorrow evening.

This afternoon, however, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the government was rejecting the Bill as it was “too simplistic” and did not take account of some other effects it would raise.

Toibín, in response, said the legislation was an attempt to address the “recent breaches of contract and mistreatment of workers in companies throughout the state” which had put a strain on industrial relations.

“I am concerned that the Taoiseach today, when questioned by Gerry Adams, dismissed this legislation out of hand without any detail of his concerns,” Toibín said.

“I would call on TDs of all parties and none to support this legislation in the interests of workers’ rights and good working relations.”

The UNITE trade union had supported the legislation, saying companies currently found it “too easy… rush consultation and delay payments”.

“Individuals will gain much better protection in the fairer framework this legislation will give rise to,” We fully support its introduction with all possible haste.”

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Gavan Reilly

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