Concerns raised for Small employers under the new Industrial Relations [Amendment] Bill- McGrath
South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has raised concerns about the future of small businesses under the new Industrial Relations [Amendment] [NO.3] Bill 2011 that is currently progressing through the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The main purpose of the Bill is to reform the existing system for the making of both Employment Regulation Orders [ERO] and Registered Employment Agreements [REA] and to provide for their continued effective operation in the context of fairer procedures that are more responsive to changing economic circumstances however, Deputy McGrath has raised concerns in relation to Section 5 of the bill which lays down new procedures governing the registration of employment agreements by the Labour Court.
“It is proposed in the bill to determine employer representation in any new Registered Agreement by the number of workers employed by the employer parties. I have huge concerns that this approach will leave no voice for the small employers who will once again be forced to comply with an agreement set by the agenda of the big players” said Deputy McGrath
“We have seen what has happened in the past where the big players call the shots and where small employers were forced to either keep up or go out of business. We have been too fond in the past of looking after the big boys and forgetting about the ordinary business where only a handful of people are employed. These businesses are the life and soul of this country and they must be protected. They cannot be ignored when it comes to the setting of new Registered Employment Agreements. Continued McGrath
“It is imperative that small businesses are put at the heart of all new agreements and I am calling on the Government to amend this bill to ensure that they are represented fairly by possibly introducing a one business one vote so as to not let the Big companies control the different industries” concluded McGrath.