Spin on bogus self employment reflects lack of focus on decent jobs for young people

10 May 2018

Cynical exercise in spin on Bogus Self Employment reflects wider issue of lack of Government focus on “Decent Jobs” for young people. 

Speaking at a meeting of the reactivated Liam Kavanagh/East Wicklow Branch of the Labour Party on Thursday evening 10th May, Party Chairperson and Wicklow Dáil Candidate Jack O’Connor, returned to the theme of his scathing dismissal of the Governments May Day Holiday announcement on Bogus Self Employment. He had described it as “about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike – at best.” He asserted that the shallowness of the initiative reflected a wider lack of focus on Decent Jobs.

Mr O’Connor said:

“The labour market is increasingly hollowed out and fragmented. The recovery is generating a considerable number of highly skilled, well paid jobs at the top, which are very welcome. However, there is increasing evidence of an ongoing “hollowing out” of traditionally secure, reasonably paid, long term jobs in the middle. These are being replaced by an exponentially growing “precarious” category at the bottom. Here the entire variety of exploitative employment relationships reside, from low pay, to rotating temporary contracts, zero hour and “if and when” contracts, through involuntary permanent part – time work to Bogus Self Employment. This phenomenon is no longer restricted to people who are less skilled or educated, but is increasingly prevalent even among highly qualified workers.

“It is either denied by those in authority, or when confronted with incontrovertible evidence lamely attributed to the vagaries of the modern labour market. Our young people deserve better than this indifferent response from those charged with public policy formulation and implementation,” he said.

“Apart from repairing the damage inflicted on our public housing, health care, education and childcare services during the crisis years, the other priority must be the provision of Decent Jobs for all. Our young people need to be able to plan their lives, to get a mortgage or a car loan or to fund further education to equip themselves for the age of digitalisation. They need to be able to realistically look forward to establishing their own families in a reasonably secure environment. All this requires secure and Decent Jobs,” he added.

“Its not enough to allow the market to function independently. There is a requirement for enhanced and coordinated Government intervention. This must embrace a range of measures from increased public investment in scientific research, grant and equity aiding new start up businesses subject to compliance with a quality employment standard, focussing on continuous reskilling for the age of digitalisation, while legislating to stamp out employment abuses and providing all workers with a right to representation for the purpose of collective bargaining, if they wish to avail of it,” he concluded.

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