Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (42)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

42. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to allegations of the blacklisting of workers in the film industry who have raised questions about employment rights and the abuse of public funding in the industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16757/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

All workers in the arts and film industries are covered by the same legal protections afforded by employment law as is the case with all other industries. 

The position of Employees insecure contracts and those working variable hours should face an improved situation with the passage of new legislation in December by my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  The legislation introduces a requirement that employers provide employees with certain terms of employment within a certain period after commencing employment; to impose sanctions for certain offences; to further provide for a minimum payment due to employees in certain circumstances; to prohibit contracts specifying zero as the contract hours in certain circumstances and to provide for the introduction of banded contract hours; to further provide for prohibition of penalisation and for those purposes to amend the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 and the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; to amend the Workplace Relations Act 2015; and to provide for related matters.  

In the case of workers in the film industry, I am pleased that the recently introduced Film Regulations 2019 require applicants for Section 481 tax relief to sign an undertaking that they will provide quality employment, and training and skills development opportunities and that they will comply with all applicable laws. 

In their  appearance at the Joint Committee for Employment Affairs where issues around false employment were discussed last November, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection spoke of  their  month-long media campaign on false self-employment and the service provided by that Department.  The campaign directed people to a dedicated page on its website (www.welfare.ie/employmentstatus) which includes information on the tests used to determine employment status and how to request a formal determination from the Department as well as information about and contacts for the Workplace Relations Commission and Revenue.  Further details of the discussion can be accessed on the Oireachtas website.