Thursday, 12 July 2012
Industrial Relations (Amendment)(No. 3) Bill 2011: Committee Stage
David Cullinane (Sinn Fein)
I move amendment No. 8:
In page 12, line 12, to delete "24 months" and substitute "12 months".
The two amendments are linked. The legislation provides for a business to opt out of an agreement for a period of 24 months within a five-year period in certain circumstances. We see the logic of an opt out as many businesses are struggling. While it is desirable that workers protected under JLCs have protection in terms of the levels of pay, we seek to be pragmatic by reducing the time limit from 24 to 12 months. We consider that 24 months is far too long. If a business requires an opt out for 24 months out of a five-year period, essentially 40% of that time, the business has serious viability issues. Clearly,12 months would allow a business deal with the short-term pressures which led to the opt out in the first place. An opt out of 24 months is too long and the amendment seeks to reduce it to 12 months.