16 November 2016

The Labour Party’s Protection of Employment (Uncertain Hours) Bill has passed Second Stage in the Seanad.

The Bill, which was drafted and tabled by Senator Ged Nash seeks to provide workers on “If & When” contracts with more certainty over working hours and better income security and legal protections.

Senator Nash said:

“I welcome the cross party support for this initiative. This is the first meaningful step that the Oireachtas has taken during this term to fix the gaps in our employment laws and regulations to better protect the growing army of atypical workers who go to bed on a Sunday night not knowing how many hours they will work that week, or how much they will earn.

“As Employment Minister, I commenced this process with the University of Limerick study into the area of low hours contracts.
“This important milestone takes us a significant step closer to making the changes working people need to see in this area.

“Our new collective bargaining laws, two increases to the National Minimum Wage, the restoration of Registered Employment Agreements and the re-establishment of Joint Labour Committees are making a real and lasting impact on the loves of working people in this country.

“We may be in opposition, but when others see it as their job to simply make noise, our job and mission is to continue to make a difference.”




* An entitlement to request an employer to correct employment terms so that the stated particulars of weekly hours of work accurately reflect the pattern pf work actually done per week in the previous six months

* New rules whereby periods of ‘lay-off’ between fixed term contracts will be deemed to represent continuity of service, rather than broken service

* Where an employer registers an employee under the PAYE system, then the employee will be regarded as continuing in employment until the date specified in a notice to Revenue of cessation of employment

* Important measures to include casual work in the calculation of continuous employment

* A Workplace Relations Commission complaints procedure to ensure fair and equitable application of cases under the legislation

*An important anti-victimisation measure protecting workers from invoking their rights under the legislation

* An exemption from the legislation in cases where employers and trade unions have negotiated Sectoral Employment Orders or Registered Employment Agreements (under the terms of Labour’s Industrial Relations Act, 2015) or where an Employment Regulation Order has been signed as a result of a Joint Labour Committee initiative.


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