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Employment Rights

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 2 November 2021

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ceisteanna (62)

Mick Barry


62. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will introduce measures to improve the rights of workers to avail of sick leave and paid sick leave in all sectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53176/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

This Government is committed to introducing a statutory sick pay scheme and work is well underway in this regard. Any move to introduce a statutory sick pay scheme must be balanced with the need to support the viability of the business and enterprise sector, thereby protecting jobs. Therefore, appropriate examination of all implications and consultation with stakeholders is essential to the development of the scheme. We do not want to jeopardise jobs by placing a cost and/or admin burden on business without working through all of the implications and potential solutions. This is why my Department undertook a full public consultation, reviewed international best practice, and formed an interdepartmental group – to ensure that all views and issues were properly considered in the development of the scheme. Department officials are currently finalising the draft Heads of Bill in conjunction with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. It will also be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny which is to be carried out by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, following which the Bill will need to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas.

I have asked the Joint Oireachtas Committee to proceed with their pre-legislative scrutiny as quickly as possible. Once this is complete, I will be in a position to seek Government approval to present the Bill to the Houses.

This new law builds on the suite of legal rights that the Government is introducing to protect workers, which includes the right to tips and gratuities, the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive and the right to request remote work.