April 28, 2021
Attempted exploitation of healthcare workers ‘abhorrent’ – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said reports in the media that the HSE is attempting to hire psychologists for unpaid roles uncovers an “abhorrent and unacceptable practice”.
 
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:
 
“I am genuinely aghast that the HSE believe it is acceptable to try and hire unpaid labour to carry out vital health services.
 
“The attempt to hire seven psychologists for unpaid roles, in the middle of a pandemic, is abhorrent and unacceptable.
 
“The motto of ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ must be beyond those at the top of the HSE.
 
“You can be sure the people who signed off on this are paid for their work.
 
“Not only is this practice abhorrent, but is for all intents and purposes illegal. The only case where a worker can be unpaid is in a trainee position where the individual does not carry out any work, and this is not the case for these positions.
 
“Therefore, hiring the workers on these conditions would be in breach of the National Minimum Wage Act.
 
“We have thousands of people waiting to access psychology services, many waiting months and years, and the only way to deliver care and reduce these lists is to ensure that the service is properly resourced, funded, and staffed.
 
“That is where the HSE should be focusing their energies instead of trying to exploit workers into providing their labour for free. This is exploitation, plain and simple, and it should not be accepted.”

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