Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions
Last week, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth recommended the establishment of a joint labour committee for the early learning and childcare sector. I welcome this move. It is something my colleagues, including Deputies Sean Sherlock, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Ged Nash and Senator Ivana Bacik, have been pushing for many years. We have been raising it for more than five years. The sooner it is up and running, the better for everyone working in that sector. The sooner we can get an employment regulation order in place to establish binding rates of pay, terms and conditions, etc., the sooner we would be taking a step in the right direction for all these workers. The legislation to put this in place was put forward by the Labour Party.
The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has written to the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Damien English, with this recommendation for joint labour committee to be established. The Minister must apply to the Labour Court for this to happen. Will the Taoiseach confirm that the JLC will now be established by the Government and the relevant Minister to support these workers? What is the timeline to put the committee in place? Will the Taoiseach commit to this happening in the near future? It is something of which we are highly supportive.