Oireachtas should lead the way in employment rights – Doherty

16th July 2021 - Regina Doherty

Leader of Seanad Éireann and Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty has called on the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission to conduct a review of all contracts in the Oireachtas to establish whether they have misclassified workers as self-employed.

After the issue was raised by staff and other Oireachtas members, Senator Doherty said, “The Dáil and Seanad should set the gold standard for employment rights and it is unacceptable that the staff looking after those who enact employment laws aren’t being treated fairly.

“Our Oireachtas recording staff are laid off for the month of August and for two weeks at Christmas and this arrangement results in them losing out on PRSI, employment rights, entitlements, pension rights and values. This is not something the Oireachtas should tolerate or stand over.

“A recent review of employment contracts in RTÉ resulted in hundreds of staff being offered backdated contracts because they were actually employees, and I feel the same could apply here.

“Using self-employment contracts results in massive savings for companies but results in precarious employment for the workers and this should not be the way employees in our national parliament are treated.

“In 2019, the Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023 was launched by the Department of Social Protection with an important focus on employer practices in relation to false self-employment and PRSI.

“I have written to the Oireachtas commission this morning seeking an urgent review and hope for a positive outcome in the near future,” concluded Senator Doherty.

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