Ó Domhnaill Calls for Protection of Jobs

Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has told the Seanad that proposals by the Minister for Social Protection to transfer sick pay costs for the first 2-4 weeks to employers would place an additional and unjust burden on Irish businesses particularly smaller and medium sized enterprises at a time when many employers are struggling to exist.


Senator Ó Domhnaill raised the issues last night (Tuesday) while moving an adjournment debate in the Seanad on the matter.


Ó Domhnaill told the Seanad; “The proposals being proposed by Minister Joan Burton would have a major negative impact on job sustainability and, in turn, a negative impact on economic recovery.”


“Data from the National Competitiveness Council shows that the cost of doing business in Ireland remains higher than the Euro Area and the EU27 averages. Therefore the idea that introducing this change would somehow bring Ireland into line with other EU Countries is a very narrow minded, anti-jobs and indeed flawed view being expressed by this Government.”


“It is very important at this economically challenging time for the Government to support jobs and employers and therefore this current proposal, if implemented, would create irreversible damage and would drive some struggling businesses to the point of closure and hence genuine employees would ultimately lose their jobs.”


In response to the adjournment on behalf of the Minister for Social Protection,  Minister of State Sean Perry replied;


“The question of introducing a scheme of statutory sick pay, whereby employers would directly meet the costs of sick absence for an initial period of illness, is being considered in the context of the need to reform the social welfare system to bring it into line with practices in other countries in this area.”


“In the event that a scheme were to be introduced, the Social Insurance Fund would, of course, continue to provide supports for extended periods of illness.  The Minister for Social Protection hosted a consultative seminar on the feasibility and implications of introducing a scheme of statutory sick pay in February of this year.”


“All of the issues around statutory sick pay will be discussed in the course of the wider process associated with the preparation of Budget 2013 and any decisions which might be taken by Government on the possible introduction of such a scheme will be considered in that context.”


Senator Ó Domhnaill concluded by saying ;“The Government response to by adjournment debate is very disappointing and shows very little regard for job creation or job retention. Employers are already making a contribution for sick pay by paying social insurance contributions.”

Posted: Jul 4, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized