February 26th: Unite today called on the Government to address recent Council of Europe/ECSR criticisms which found Ireland to be in breach of several provisions of the Social Charter. The breaches range from the lack of legislation ensuring that overtime work is paid at a higher rate, to the limited protection against unfair dismissal for workers in their first year of employment and the excessive work permit fees charged to migrant workers.
Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“This report by the European Committee of Social Rights is disturbing, but it is nothing new: Ireland is regularly found to be in breach of the European Social Charter.
“Once again, the Council of Europe highlights what can only be termed a ‘minimum compliance’ approach to our international obligations. For example, the report finds that the maximum compensation in non-gender discrimination cases is too low to either make good the loss suffered, or dissuade those engaged in discriminatory practices.
“In terms of workers’ rights, the breaches identified –for example, the lack of legislation to ensure that overtime is paid at a higher rate and the limited protection against unfair dismissal in the first year of employment – again highlight the need to put workers’ rights on a level playing field with employers’ rights.
“Instead of trumpeting their ‘new politics’, Unite is calling on the Government to demonstrate a new commitment to the rights of all those living in Ireland by moving immediately to rectify the breaches highlighted in this report”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.