Addressing Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in the Seanad today, Sinn Féin Senator said that the government has taken no action to address the gap in legal protections for workers facing redundancy.
Senator Gavan said:
“The Central Bank Governor said last week that many businesses simply won’t survive when the rug of state supports are gone. The Head of Chambers Ireland has also spoken of a possibility of a surge in insolvencies.
“We have seen what happened to the Debenhams workers, just over a year now on the picket, still fighting for their rightful redundancy payments.
“Government have put no further legal protections in place to ensure workers can be assured of union negotiated redundancy entitlements. This government has failed to implement the Duffy Cahill Proposals from 2016, which outlined a series of recommendations to protect workers.
“This report is still sitting on the shelf after five years of inaction. It needs to be given urgent priority now.
“Workers should not be faced with the added worry of not getting their negotiated redundancy entitlement when they lose their job. Government need now to legislate for the Duffy/Cahill report and to protect workers.”
Senator Gavan also called for the establishment of a stakeholder forum for the retail sector, comprising employers, trade unions, and the relevant government departments, in line with a proposal made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
“We need a new model for retail business – the world has changed fundamentally in the last year and the old way of doing business will no longer work.
“We need collaboration of all stakeholders to map out a new future for this important sector – a future that has decent pay and conditions for all those working within it.”