Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that the lack of funding for the Workplace Relations Commission in Budget 2022 shows that this government does not give a damn about workers or their rights.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The constant underfunding of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is a political decision with the aim of trying to hamper the work of the main state organisation delivering workplace relations services for workers.
“We have seen this happen yet again as, in the post-Budget departmental media briefing, it was stated that WRC would receive less than €1 million in additional current funding.
“This derisory sum of money shows this government does not give a damn about workers or their rights.
“Despite constant underfunding, the WRC does fantastic work on behalf of workers across this state.
“In spite of the challenges posed by this underfunding, the WRC has managed to recover almost €18m in stolen wages for workers since 2011.
“Indeed, since 2015, the WRC has detected breaches in employment law in more than one-third of all investigations carried out, and it is certain that with additional funding and resources that they would detect even more law breaking.
“Unfortunately, the Commission has only 53 inspectors carrying out this work, despite being authorised to recruit 90 inspectors back in 2006.
“It is ridiculous that these vacancies still persist and that the government has not used Budget 2022 to address this matter.
“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin advocated for a 50 per cent increase in funding for the WRC, an additional €7.7m in funding.
“This is the sort of investment that is needed to deliver for workers and workers’ rights.
“Unsurprisingly, Budget 2022 again showed that this government is happy to continue turning a blind eye to employment law and workers’ rights being ridden roughshod over.”