07 June 2017

Labour Senator Ged Nash has welcomed the official signing of Labour’s Competition Amendment Bill 2016 into law by President Michael D. Higgins, describing it as a “major milestone” for the labour movement in Ireland.

Senator Nash, who supported the passage of the Bill through Cabinet as Minister of State in the Department of Jobs in January 2016, commented:

“It is a source of tremendous pride that the only Private Members Bill to become the law of the land in the term of this ‘do-nothing’ Dáil is a Labour Party Bill to improve the rights of very vulnerable working people.

“It is particularly fitting that the original architect of an early version of this legislation President Michael D. Higgins, has signed it into law in the Áras today.

“The Competition Amendment Act will move to ensure that freelance workers, including journalists, voice-over artists, actors, session musicians and anyone who performs work on a self-employed or contract-for-service basis in a freelance way, are protected in their right to engage in collective bargaining with their trade union.

“Crucially, we now also have clear definitions in Irish law of what constitutes ‘false self-employment’. This measure is a game-changer for workers in the gig economy with a clear route map in place in terms of collective bargaining rights for vulnerable self-employed workers who work under the control and direction of an employer.

“I also pay tribute to our former Dáil colleague, Emmet Stagg, who worked hard to get similar legislation through in the previous Government, and importantly Senator Ivana Bacik who brought this ground-breaking legislation forward and has skilfully shepherded it through the entire legislative process

“On a personal basis, this is the final piece of legislative business that I approved in Government in January 2016, and I am proud to attest that even in Opposition, Labour is standing firm in its commitment to deliver real and practical change for working people.”

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