May 4, 2023
Government must close all loopholes to stop tactical collective redundancies – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the latest collective redundancy protections floated by government are just “tinkering around the edges of a broader issue”.
 
The Dublin Fingal TD called on the government to implement the proposals of the Duffy-Cahill Report and legislate to ban tactical liquidations by closing off loopholes in company law.
 
Teachta O’Reilly said:
 
“It has been reported that government will look to amend redundancy legislation and make all collective redundancies, including insolvencies, subject to a 30-day notification period.
 
“This is a welcome development, but in the grand scheme of things it is only tinkering around the edges.
 
“There are many other loopholes and lacunas in the law which need to be closed off to protect workers in collective redundancy situations.
 
“It is nearly seven years since the publication of the Duffy-Cahill Report into the need for 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, 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 witnessed 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, trade unions, and opposition politicians have been seeking legislative protections for many years, but every time they seek such protections, they have been told they must wait.
 
“While we welcome any advancement in the protection of workers’ rights, especially in collective redundancy situations, the reality is the government needs to close all loopholes in company law which allow immoral and unethical tactical liquidations so that workers and their entitlements are protected.”

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