Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has called on all TDs from all parties, and none, to support her Bill to make workplace outbreaks of Covid-19 notifiable to the Health and Safety Authority.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“This evening in the Dáil my Bill, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Amendment) Bill 2020, which seeks to make Covid-19 a notifiable workplace illness, will be debated.
“The Bill seeks to make workplace outbreaks of Covid-19 notifiable to the Health and Safety Authority.
“Such proactive notification and surveillance of Covid-19 is key to ensuring that the responsible agencies react quickly to prevent the development of clusters of the virus in workplaces, especially in meat plants and care homes.
“Sinn Féin were compelled to pursue this legislation due to the failure of the government to use their power though regulations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act to make Covid-19 to make workplace illness of Covid-19 notifiable to the HSA.
“The Irish Congress of Trade Unions have been to the fore of campaigning for this change, and they have written to the relevant ministers on a number of occasions requesting this simple change.
“At the stroke of a pen, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment could do this, but he has refused, despite repeated request from Sinn Féin and from the Trade Union movement.
“The aim of the legislation is to protect workers in all workplaces, whether that be in meat plants, care homes, building sites, or office blocks in the IFSC.
“I would hope that TDs from all parties, and none, will stand up for workers’ rights and ensure their health and wellbeing is protected at work by supporting this Bill.”