December 9, 2021
Workers exposed due to failure to implement Duffy-Cahill Report recommendations – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City and North Tipperary Maurice Quinlivan has questioned the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar as to why the government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Duffy-Cahill Report.

The report, commissioned following the closure of Clerys to review employment rights and company law where companies separate assets from operations into a separate legal entity, was completed by Senior Counsel Neasa Cahill and former Labour Court chairperson Kevin Duffy in 2016.  

Teachta Quinlivan said:

“There are real concerns that once the employer support schemes introduced during the pandemic are ended that there may be numerous business closures across the state. 

“In many cases, unfortunately, employees will be made redundant. Clearly the sensible thing to do would be to have these recommendations implemented in advance of that possibility.

“Such a step could protect workers, who will face similar types of shutdowns to those experienced by laid-off workers at Clerys and, more recently, in Debenhams.

“Without the report recommendations being implemented, we witnessed how disgracefully the former workers at Debenhams were treated last year.

“When Minister Damien English addressed questions on this matter in June, he stated, ‘at the Tánaiste’s direction, we undertook to review the matter, including the legislation in this space, to determine whether we could do anything to strengthen the position. A part of our plan will involve some of the recommendations of the Duffy-Cahill report, but not all six’. 

“We witnessed how the workers had to camp outside their former employers to ensure that assets of the company were not transferred out of the state. 

“Other workers need to be protected from this type of outcome; the implementation of the Duffy-Cahill report could be a crucial asset in this regard. 

“It is now five years since the report was published yet there has not been any serious attempt by this government to implement the recommendations of the report in full.

“That is not good enough, and workers have been left exposed as a result.”

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