Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Joint Labour Committees Agreements
I am very encouraged by the increased level of inspections by the Workplace Relations Commission, WRC, inspectorate. It is important that the message goes out that rogue security firms will not be allowed to continue not to comply with employment regulation orders, EROs. They are the law of the land. I have evidence of security firms which in recent weeks were not paying the new rate. I have advised those affected to bring their complaints to the rights commissioner and the WRC.
When I did some research on this I saw that some security firms are quite brazenly going onto recruitment websites and putting advertisements for rates of pay that are lower than the legal rates of pay. Some of these advertisements are dated 28 June and 1 July. This is continuing. I do not think this is a mistake.
These people are thumbing their noses at the law, insulting their employees and expecting them to work for a rate of pay that is less than the legal hourly rate. That is not acceptable. There is provision in the legislation, as the Minister of State knows, to apply for an exemption from an ERO rate. It is like the exemption that applies under the National Minimum Wage Act 2017 and nobody has made an exemption request under that Act or under the joint labour committee, JLC, system.
It has been brought to my attention that some of the security firms which appear to be non-compliant with the new rate are in fact receiving State contracts. There is an obligation on anyone who is operating a State contract under public procurement policies to respect the law of the land. The JLC system in security is the law of the land. An ERO was properly put to the Minister of State who signed it, was satisfied that it was legal and laid it before these Houses. That is the legal rate of pay. Those who do not respect the legal rate of pay should be stripped of their State contracts.