Since the Action Plan for Jobs process was started in early 2012, well over 1300 discrete actions have been implemented to support and sustain existing jobs and to create new employment opportunities. That said, there are always going to be companies who experience difficulties for a range of different reasons, and in that event, there are a range of supports and protections available for employees. Under the body of Irish employment rights legislation there are significant protections afforded to employees whose employers are insolvent and in the event that an employer defaults on payment of wages and other entitlements contained in the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts 1984 (as amended) and the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 – 2007 which are administered by my colleague An Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton.
In situations such as this where a liquidator has been appointed, if the employer is unable to pay the employees their statutory redundancy and other entitlements, a claim may be made to the Department of Social Protection. In the first instance, the staff of Xtra-vision who have lost their jobs as a result of the closure should contact the liquidator to ensure they receive their statutory redundancy and wage related payments. Anyone with concerns regarding employment rights can contact the Workplace Relations Customer Service and Information Unit which provides information on employment, equality & industrial relations legislation. It can be contacted at Lo-call:1890 80 80 90 or via its website www.workplacerelations.ie.
Employment growth continues to be the primary objective of this Government. The Action Plan for Jobs: Regional Initiative seeks to maximise the strengths and assets of each region to support enterprise growth and job creation. The 8 Regional Plans will build on the success of the national Action Plan for Jobs process, which has contributed to the creation of over 135,000 new jobs since 2012.
The enterprise agencies are actively and successfully supporting jobs across the country. Enterprise Ireland 2015 figures show that client companies created 21,118 new jobs with a net increase of 10,169 jobs, which brings the total employment in these companies to 192,223 - a record high for the agency. 2015 saw the lowest level of job losses in EI companies since 2000. Every region recorded increases in full-time employment over the period. IDA client companies created just under 19,000 jobs during 2015, again with every region recording net gains in jobs. Net jobs increased to 11,833 compared to 7,131 in 2014 – representing a year-on-year rise of 66%.
Support for business at local level also includes the Local Enterprise Offices which provide information, advice and guidance on the range of State supports to enterprise and persons seeking to start their own business and signpost customers to the appropriate contacts across the various agencies that provide them. For startups or established businesses in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sectors, the LEOs can provide direct financial support to develop or implement a business idea. For other sectors the LEO provide non-financial supports such as specific and tailored business training or mentoring to help a business to develop. Each LEO is also active in developing local networks and other activities and events that bring business people and entrepreneurs together as a means of supporting each other.