Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Question 79: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when it is intended to publish the legislation to amend the Competition Acts to uphold the rights of certain freelance workers such as actors and musicians to collective bargaining, which was promised as part of the review of the Towards 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27444/09]
During the course of Social Partnership talks in 2008, the Government committed itself to introducing legislation amending Section 4 of the Companies Act 2002 to the effect that certain categories of vulnerable workers, formerly or currently covered by collective agreements, when engaging in collective bargaining, would be excluded from the Section 4 prohibition. The commitment will take into account that there would be negligible negative impacts on the economy or on the level of competition and will have regard to the specific attributes and nature of the work involved, subject to consistency with EU competition rules. It is proposed that three specific categories of worker, namely voice-over actors, freelance journalists and session musicians will be covered by the exclusion.
How best to give effect to this commitment, in a manner consistent with EU competition law, is being examined in the context of the on-going work on the drafting of a new Bill which, inter alia, will include amendments to the Competition Act, 2002 (following a review process in 2008) and the merger of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency. It is intended to publish this Bill before the end of the year.