I move amendment No. 8:
In page 8, to delete lines 38 to 42.
This is an amendment to avoid section 9(4) of the Bill which would have the effect of excluding part time workers from eligibility for a pension scheme. The directive on which the legislation is based does not permit any blanket exclusion, yet the Minister is proceeding in a fashion that will prevent part-time workers, people who work less than 20% of the normal working hours, from participation in a pension scheme. That is an extraordinary provision. It is exclusive. I cannot understand why it is there. There is no legal barrier currently in the way of anyone working less than 20% of the normal working hours being eligible for a pension scheme, and many such people are already in pension schemes. Will the Minister clarify whether this will put a legal impediment in the way of their being in a pension scheme?
We find ourselves in the farcical position that this Bill will be guillotined at 10 p.m., yet a large number of amendments have not been dealt with. The farcical intervention of Deputy Gildea tonight not only does an injustice to his constituents in Donegal, but he has proceeded to do a considerable injustice to part-time workers in Donegal because we will not be able to take amendments other than those sponsored by the Minister. The Minister advises me privately that he has responded positively to the case I made on behalf of the Labour Party in respect of a number of matters I raised on Second and Committee Stages. I appreciate and welcome that.
However, there are still a number of matters that go to the heart of this Bill. There are almost 300,000 part-time workers. Therefore, this amendment is a matter of some import. If one is a teacher for instance, with eight hours teaching content, that is quite a number of teaching hours contact. I made the point on the last occasion that there are many people in secure positions protected by Act of parliament in full-time professorial jobs who do not work much more than eight hours a week, apart from nixers in theSunday Independent. It is regrettable the Minister of State is ploughing ahead with this. I hope that even at this late stage he will change his mind.