I move amendment No. 6:
In page 8, to delete lines 27 to 47 and in page 9, to delete lines 1 to 14 and substitute the following:
6. —(1) An employer shall not employ a young person on any work except where, subject to this section and sections 7, 8 and 9, the employer——
(a) does not require to permit the young person to work for more than 8 hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.
(b) does not require or permit the young person to work——
(i) between 10 p.m. on any one day and 6 a.m. on the following day, or
(ii) between 11 p.m. on any one day (provided the day is not before a school day during a school term where such young person is attending school) and 7 a.m. on the following day, where the Minister is satisfied, following consultation with such representatives of employers and representatives of employees as the Minister considers appropriate, that there are exceptional circumstances affecting a particular branch of activity or a particular area of work as may be prescribed.
(c) ensures that the young person receives a minimum rest period of 12 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours,
(d) ensures that the young person receives in any period of 7 days a minimum rest period of 2 days which shall, as far as is practicable, be consecutive, and
(e) does not require or permit the young person to do for him or her any work for any period exceeding 4½ hours without a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.".
Amendment No. 6 is in substance the same as the proposal we adopted on Committee Stage. Following our discussion on Second Stage and the debate on Committee Stage I moved to allow young people to work up to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and during the school holidays on days when they did not have school the next day. This is the maximum flexibility I was allowed under the terms of the directive and under our ILO obligations. It goes a substantial way towards meeting the concerns expressed in relation to young people involved in weekend working in the catering and pub trades etc. Before our Committee Stage debate I met the Vintners' Federation of Ireland who were satisfied with the proposed change. In essence what we are proposing is what we agreed on Committee Stage.
Deputies Kitt and Quill have tabled amendments aimed at further extending what we are doing in this area. I cannot agree to an 11 p.m. finishing time on every day of the week because we are dealing with young people of school age who are, generally speaking, in the school system. We want to ensure that they are not so exhausted from working midweek that they cannot concentrate on their studies which are probably of the best long-term benefit in terms of their job chances and career prospects. Throughout the Bill we have recognised the value part-time work has for young people of school age. This is being facilitated by extending working hours to 11 p.m. and opening up a range of employments.
Deputy Quill referred specifically to tourism and the hotel, restaurant and café sector. What I am doing is not confined to those sectors. My amendments are tied basically to whether or not there is school the next day, which may be a broader way of dealing with the matter. The sectors mentioned by the Deputy are probably the main sectors involved, but if other sectors emerge that are not covered by the Deputy's amendments we could find ourselves tied down.
Deputies Kitt and Quill are proposing in amendments Nos. 13 and 15 that young people be allowed to work up to 12 midnight at weekends and in certain other circumstances when supervised by an adult. These exemptions would not be possible because of our obligations under the ILO Convention No. 79 and because of Article 16 of the directive which forbids us to reduce the level of protection already in force in the member states. We all share the ideal of having enforceable legislation that will reconcile working life and study for young people. I have taken legal advice in relation to these points. I have pushed out the boat as far as legally possible. This Bill substantially meets the concerns in this area. We are of one mind in regard to what we want to achieve, but I am not in a position to accept the amendments tabled by the two Opposition parties.