Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Public Holidays.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will take steps to introduce proposals for legislation to amend the Holidays (Employees) Act, 1939, so as to provide that Good Friday shall be an additional public holiday under Section 8 of the Act.

I have received from the Trade Union Congress proposals for the amendment of the Holidays (Employees) Act, 1939, including the change suggested in the Deputy's question. These proposals are under examination, but it is unlikely that a decision will be reached at an early date. It will be appreciated that the benefits secured to workers under this Act are minimum benefits and that it does not preclude the securing of additional benefits by the ordinary processes of negotiation.

No doubt the Minister is aware that the existing practice in regard to Good Friday creates widespread confusion not only in respect of the employers, but also in respect of the workers and the unions. Will the Minister not agree that at least consideration might be expedited? Each year the position becomes more difficult and each year the unions face the possibility of industrial conflict because of the widespread divergence of practice in this connection.

I should be interested to get evidence of that situation.