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Agriculture Industry

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (760)

Michael Healy-Rae


760. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason his officials are refusing to review the statutory redundancy being offered to staff affected by the closure of the mink farming industry in Ireland despite his own commitment at the Oireachtas Committee hearing on 15 July 2021 to do so; if his officials will be instructed as a matter of urgency to examine what a more appropriate package of redundancy would be; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61124/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Animal Health and Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 that is currently going through the legislative process, will provide for the statutory prohibition of fur farming.

The legislation will make provision for a scheme of compensation for the three farm businesses affected by the prohibition.

Regulations that are being prepared alongside the primary legislation will provide further detail on the compensation provisions. The details of the overall compensation package is receiving detailed attention in my Department.

The farm businesses are to be compensated for certain losses they will experience as part of the prohibition. Compensation for statutory redundancy payments, paid to workers made redundant as a result of the prohibition, is one of the loss categories. Various entitlements for employees are set out in legislation (Redundancy Payments Act 1967) and employees must follow specific redundancy procedures in that regard. Redundancy payments are to be made available by employers when employment is terminated which may be the case when fur farming is prohibited.

The rates and conditions of these payments are defined in the Redundancy legislation and applies to businesses where employment is being terminated. The compensation package that is to be made available to the farm businesses will cover any statutory redundancy payments made but is only one aspect of the compensation to the business owners.

Statutory redundancy payments are the minimum workers are eligible for and will be included in this overall package - the businesses concerned may make increased payments as they consider appropriate.