I would like to thank Senator Mac Lochlainn and Deputy Neville for their contributions on this. First, the measures here are an important step in securing stability and growth in this very critical sector at the moment. They also protect working conditions, and above all else, as Deputy Neville said, they aid in the attractiveness of the sector as a career. We know there is a shortage of people in this sector at the moment, and we have to try to make it more attractive for people to go into this area. That is important.
The most important thing, however, about the sectoral employment orders, SEOs, is that the Labour Court is independent, and it makes its recommendations when it consults everybody concerned. SEOs have brought good, harmonious relations over the last couple of years, particularly in the construction sector where we had many ongoing strikes in the past. They have been proven to work. Many bodies would like to have an SEO to protect their workers, and a number of groups are trying to get enough members to ensure they can have an SEO, so they can be seen to represent the majority of the group for which they work.
Senator Mac Lochlainn mentioned a few areas in regard to insurance. I know they are outside of this, but just to touch on them, I think the measures we are putting in place in regard to insurance will pay off. It is not something that can be solved overnight. There is no silver bullet out there, but the measures we are putting into place as a Government in regard to the Personal Injuries Board, reviews, and the new compensation rates will all be important. We just need a bit more time on that.
The Low Pay Commission is an independent body that works separate from the Government, and that is the reason it was put in place. As Deputy Neville knows, the Low Pay Commission is made up of workers from the unions, business employers, and academics, and it does play a very important role. The living wage is voluntary. We do not get involved in it, and it is up to the Low Pay Commission to decide what the minimum wage should be each year. It engages in much consultation when it decides that, going around the country consulting people in regard to it. That is working well, and the fact our industrial relations are voluntary is another sign that harmony is important.
The 2015 Act has been an important one. This SEO was sought by the contractors concerned and the Labour Court made its independent judgment in this. I would like to point out to everyone here that my only role in this was to ensure that the 2015 Act was put into place and that the Labour Court did its job in accordance with the Act.
I again thank all the members, particularly Senator Mac Lochlainn, who I served with in a previous role in a committee. I thank him and Deputy Neville, who is a good attender at these meetings, for their input into today's meeting. I also thank the Chairman for her full co-operation.