Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Part-time Workers Proposed Legislation.

Toddy O'Sullivan

Question:

10 Mr. T. O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Labour if he will give an assurance that the forthcoming legislation on part-time workers will cover all employees on fixed term contracts who have an aggregate service in employment of 12 months, so that such workers will qualify for pro-rata entitlements with full-time employees and that the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 will also apply to such employees.

As the Deputy is aware, the Worker Participation (Regular Part-Time Employees) Bill, 1990 was circulated in the Dáil earlier today.

The Bill extends the benefits of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, together with six other major enactments, to all part-time employees who work more than eight hours per week and have at least 13 weeks' continuous service.

The Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, will therefore apply to all those regular part-time employees in the same way that it applies to full-time employees at present.

I welcome the circulation of the Bill, but there are areas still open to exploitation. I am not trying to pre-empt discussion on the Bill. There are still areas where the method of tabulation of entitlements militates against the worker. I would ask the Minister to take that into account. The presentation of the Bill today overtook my question. We will have ample time to discuss it in the months ahead.

I appreciate that the Deputy had put down the question before the Bill was circulated. I thank him for the welcome he has extended to the Bill. A number of Ministers are involved in this area and as far as we are aware the Bill covers all known loopholes. There will be an opportunity to discuss it fully in the course of the debate.