Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Question 232: To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will introduce legislation to protect employees in companies under administration who remain working but who are not paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20950/11]
There is no procedure under Irish company law for a company to go into administration. On the basis that the Deputy is referring to companies under administration, he may be referring to a situation where under UK company law, administration is an insolvency process where an administrator may also be appointed to undertake such administration in relation to their companies in Ireland.
The full suite of employment rights legislation currently applies in all cases where there is an employer-employee relationship in this jurisdiction. Employees can vindicate their rights through normal dispute settlement bodies including, through the Rights Commissioner service of the Labour Relations Commission or through a complaint to the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA). I have no plans to introduce new employment rights legislation in this area.
The Insolvency Payments Scheme, established under the Protection of Employees (Employers' Insolvency) Act 1984, provides for payment of certain entitlements owed to employees by their employer at the time of liquidation. These entitlements include wages, holiday pay, sick pay, minimum notice and pension contributions. Claims in respect of such entitlements under the Insolvency Payments Scheme can be processed if a company is insolvent within the definition of the Protection of Employees (Employers' Insolvency) Act 1984, and a "relevant officer" – normally, a receiver or liquidator – has been appointed and certifies the claims. Responsibility for the Protection of Employees (Employers' Insolvency) Acts 1984 to 2004 and associated Regulations are a matter for my colleague the Minister for Social Protection.