Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (85)

Martin Heydon

Question:

85. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the implications for working schedules in the Defence Forces based on recent decisions regarding breaches of the working time directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53877/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Working Time Directive has been transposed into national legislation by way of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 and the Defence Forces are currently excluded from the provisions the Act. The Government has however committed to amending this Act and bringing the Defence Forces and An Gárda Síochana within the scope of its provisions.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is the lead Department for this legislative process and the Department of Defence is working closely with that Department and the Department of Justice and Equality on the provisions for the proposed legislation.

Formal mediation took place between my Department and an association representing members of the Permanent Defence Force on 23 May this year and further mediation took place on 5th July.

A Mediated Agreement has been reached between the parties on the matters at issue and three cases have been finalised under the terms of the mediated Settlement Agreement. The remaining 15 cases are in the process of the implementation of the Agreement. The legal cases currently stand adjourned pending the outcome of that mediation process.

The specific terms of the mediation agreement are confidential between the parties. Given that the mediation agreement is confidential and that the associated cases are still before the Courts, it would be inappropriate to comment further.