Written Answers. - Job Initiative.

Billy Timmins

Question:

105 Mr. Timmins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the plans she proposes to deal with work practice rigidities which act as a threat to competitiveness in enterprise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6996/01]

The advent of social partnership and the successful implementation of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, in particular, has meant that work practice rigidities are no longer a significant factor in industrial relations. Moreover, the National Centre for Partnership and Performance has been given an enhanced role under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness further to develop enterprise level partnership. Approaches have been tested in pilot schemes which show that benefits can accrue to both workers and employers by means of a participative approach. Where solutions are not agreed through direct dialogue between employers and workers' representatives the State provides third party machinery via the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court. I am confident, therefore, that work practice rigidities do not impact on our international competitiveness nor on our overall economic performance which remains buoyant.