What are your thoughts on zero-hours and casual working contracts?
The Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD has published a report, “A Study on the Prevalence of Zero Hours Contracts among Irish Employers and their Impact on Employees” which he commissioned from the University of Limerick.
The study has found that zero-hour contracts are not extensively used in Ireland. However, it raises concerns over a new type of precarious work contract that has emerged – “if and when” contracts. The Minister believes that these contracts are aimed at circumventing the protections afforded to workers on zero hour contracts, where they must be compensated for 25% or 15 hours of the time they had to make themselves available.
The Minister is proposing to introduce safeguards to further protect employees. Recommendations from the report include 72 hours notice (called into work, or cancellation of work), versus 24 hours currently, a new minimum shift of at least 3 consecutive hours work per shift and a guarantee of minimum hours payment when employees have made themselves available and not been given work.
These changes would affect employers who rely on shift work, casual workers and the ability to give hours to employees as and when needed.
While the complete proposal isn't available as of yet, the SFA will be making a submission to the DJEI outlining our members' thoughts around this type of legislative change. Please get in touch to let us know what you think. We would welcome your input between now and 20 November, prior to the submission deadline.
Send your thoughts to Jonathan Callan, SFA Executive, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you have any queries around current contracts of employment or resource solutions, contact Jonathan on 01 605 1668.