First stage of Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016 passed in Dáil

Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane says bill has the support of the trade unions (Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie)

Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane says “exploitation of people on low hour contracts" should be addressed

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15 June 2016 | 0

The first stage of the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016 passed through the Dáil unopposed yesterday (Tuesday, 14 June).

Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane moved to introduce the bill, which will include “the right for a worker to request increased hours and a corresponding obligation on an employer to consider such a request”. It will also set out that the employer will only be able to permit refusal “on objectively justified grounds”, coupled with “an obligation on employers to provide information to workers on the overall availability of working hours”.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Regina Doherty, told an Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, that the bill was unopposed. He responded that as it is a private members’ bill, the second stage must, under standing orders, be taken in private members’ time.

In moving the bill, David Cullinane, said: “The exploitation of people on low hour contracts, especially in the retail sector but across many other sectors, is an important issue.

“This bill will allow workers to apply for a contract that is reflective of their actual working week. Unfortunately, we have far too many instances of workers who were on 15-hour contracts for perhaps ten years working 30 hours and 40 hours week in, week out. This is a way for companies to exploit their workers.”

Cullinane added that the bill which is “earnest in its intent and has the support of many trades unions” offers a solution to the problem. He said he hoped the Taoiseach will support it, and that he intends to “appeal to him and to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to read the bill”.

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