Government must move to implement recommendations of the Duffy Cahill report – Company law review cannot be a box ticking exercise

05 November 2020

Speaking after it was announced that the Government are to complete a review of the company law as it relates to redundancies and insolvencies, Labour Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Senator Marie Sherlock said that the review must not be a box ticking exercise.


Senator Sherlock said:


“While I don’t want to prejudge the review, my concern is that the review will tell us what we already found out back in 2016. More importantly, I am concerned that the review will delay progress on implementing the recommendations of the Duffy Cahill report.


“Yesterday at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, it was confirmed to me by Nessa Cahill B.L. one the authors of the Duffy Cahill report that they are satisfied that the recommendations could be fully implemented within the confines of employment law and that there is no necessity to amend the Companies Act”.


“It is now incumbent on the Government to press ahead with the recommendations of the Duffy Cahill report.


“Furthermore and in light of the cross party support for the report’s recommendations at yesterdays Joint Oireachtas Committee of Enterprise, Trade and Employment meeting, I wrote to the Chair of the committee earlier today, Maurice Quinlivan T.D. to  ask that our Committee press ahead with issuing a set of recommendations to Government on the necessary and specific employment law changes required.


“On the company law review, my colleague and then Employment Minister Ged Nash tasked the Company Law Review Group in 2016 with providing a report to government on ways in which company law could be improved to better protect workers caught up in a Clerys or Debenhams type situation.


“The report when published by then Minister Frances Fitzgerald in July 2017 decided that it could not recommend any amendment to section 559 of the Companies Act 2014, the section which  provides for the  contribution by a related company to the debts of the company in question but which has rarely if ever been invoked.


“The Minister needs to legislate to give effect to the proposals in the Duffy-Cahill report to better protect workers like the Debenhams workers and he can do so within the provisions of the employment law framework.

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