Plan to change licensing hours must be accompanied by improved workers’ conditions for night-time workers

25 October 2022

Reform of our licensing laws must be accompanied by a real improvement in the terms and conditions for those working in the night time economy, said Labour employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock.

Welcoming the proposals to modernise Ireland’s licensing laws, Senator Sherlock said the working conditions of night-time workers must not get lost in the conversation.

Senator Sherlock said:

“There has been a lack of vision and ambition for Ireland’s night economy for many years, exemplified by the hollowing out of Ireland’s club culture. A refreshed approach is badly needed and hugely welcome. Government must commit to modernising the terms and conditions of workers in the night economy in tandem with the licensing laws.

“Central to a reimagined nightlife must be decently-paid employment. At a minimum, the Government must send out a clear message that the Living wage must be the basic hourly rate in night-time economy work and that premium payments must be a feature in the early hours of the morning. This must apply not only to bar, club and restaurant staff but also to cleaning staff, maintenance crew and security workers. It is vital that the Government insist that a joint labour committee of hospitality employers must be put in place.

“Young workers make up a large share of those working in low paid, insecure work in the night time economy and it is vital we ensure they are supported. The hospitality and entertainment sector were some of the worst hit during Covid, and young people were at the heart of this. At the peak of Covid unemployment, we saw nearly 60% of young people aged 15-24 out of work.”

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