I propose to take Questions Nos. 18, 21, 23 and 55 together.
On 29 June 2012, the Labour Court recommended that the HSE and SIPTU should engage in relation to matters concerning home help contracts and that in the event that there are any outstanding issues, they may be referred back to the Court. The HSE engaged with SIPTU concerning the recommendation and advised that as part of the process it would be undertaking an information-gathering exercise to ascertain the up-to-date position regarding the nature of the contracts held by home helps and the hours worked under such contracts. This exercise is being undertaken at present.
Having met with the parties again on 15 October 2012, the Labour Court recommended that they should re-engage under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission and that this engagement be completed by 30 November 2012. The parties are to meet at the LRC on 19 November 2012. It would not be appropriate for me, as Minister, to comment further on these matters while these processes are under way.