Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I join others in congratulating our colleague, Senator Grace O'Sullivan, on her election to the European Parliament. I commend our colleagues, Senator Gavan and Nash, who hosted a briefing earlier in the audiovisual, AV, room on the National Minimum Wage (Protection of Employee Tips) Bill 2017. Senator Gavan will be bringing the Bill before the House tomorrow for Report Stage. This is a very important Private Members' Bill which the Labour Party, as well as my colleague, Senator Norris, will be delighted to support. It will give protection to employees and ensure that the tips customers think they are paying to waiting staff will actually go to them. I cannot understand why the Government would oppose the Bill. There have been indications that it will not be supported by Government, which is unfortunate. Many of us, myself included, have worked in the service industry and all of us are well aware that there is an ongoing practice whereby so-called service charges are not paid to employees but are kept or withheld by employers. We need to ensure that there is regulation in this area. I will be surprised if the Government continues to oppose the Bill.
I ask the Leader for a debate on women's health in light of the revelations that are emerging on foot of the publication of second Scally report earlier today. My colleague in the Dáil, Deputy Kelly, has pointed out that the report is producing more questions than answers in many ways. It appears that a laboratory in Manchester which was not accredited was analysing smear tests from women in Ireland. A good deal of material is emerging. In light of those disclosures and in view of what is happening with the national maternity hospital and the ongoing issues with ethical governance there, it would be useful to have a debate in due course.