February 1, 2023
Government failure to outlaw tactical liquidations leaving workers at risk – Senator Paul Gavan

Speaking this morning in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Senator Paul Gavan, criticised the government’s failure to legislate to ban tactical liquidations by closing off loopholes in company law.

Senator Gavan said:

“It is nearly seven years since the publication of the Duffy-Cahill Report into legal protections for workers where a company engages in a tactical liquidation to avoid its obligations to its employees.

“This report was commissioned following the tactical liquidation of Clerys department store, which made nearly 500 workers immediately redundant and denied them their collective redundancy entitlements.

“Despite a host of recommendations being made by the Duffy-Cahill Report as to how loopholes could be closed and workers protected, successive governments have failed to act and protect workers.

“As a result, nearly a year to the day five years later Debenhams was liquidated in similar circumstances with over a thousand workers losing their jobs and their collective redundancy entitlements.

“Time and time again we have seen tactical liquidations used by companies to make workers immediately redundant and deny them their collective redundancy entitlements, however, time and time again we have seen successive governments do virtually nothing about it.

“The reality is companies can only engage in this behaviour because successive governments have let them do so through their failure to legislate to protect workers.

“Workers and trade unions have been seeking legislative protections for many years, but every time they seek legislative protection, they have been told they must wait. 

“Wait for a report – wait for another investigation – wait for the Minister to read the report – wait for implementation.

“The time for workers waiting is over.

“Workers need protection and they need the loopholes in company law, which allow immoral and unethical tactical liquidations, closed off so that they and their entitlements are protected.”

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