Written answers

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation

EU Directives

8:00 pm

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 214: To ask the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding transposing the EU Directive on Temporary Agency Work 2008 into Irish law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16982/11]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Minister, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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EU Member States are required to transpose the provisions of the EU Directive on Temporary Agency Work (2008/14/EC) into national law by 5 December 2011.

A central objective of the Directive is that Member States afford protection to temporary agency workers by applying the principle of equal treatment in terms of the basic working and employment conditions e.g. pay, annual holidays etc. to agency workers in the same way as applies to workers that are directly recruited by a hirer undertaking to do the same job.

My Department initiated a public consultation on the national transposition of the directive in October last. Observations were provided by a number of stakeholders and interested parties and this has resulted in follow-up bilateral meetings between my Department and a number of respondents to further elaborate on positions. This is now informing the preparation of draft legislation by my Department to be approved by the Government in advance of the publication of a Bill. The timeline for publication of the Bill will have regard to the tight legislative timeline in order to meet the transposition deadline.

An important feature of the Directive is the possibility for the conclusion of a Framework Agreement, by the social partners at the national level which would allow for a “waiting period” to apply before equal treatment applies. In the UK, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress concluded a Framework Agreement that allows for a waiting period of 12 weeks before equal treatment will apply. The Government attaches significant importance to the conclusion of a Framework Agreement in the context of Ireland’s national transposition in order to maintain our cost competitiveness vis-À-vis our main trading partners in Europe and we will be working with the Social Partners towards that end.

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