Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Company Closures

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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1213. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she has received notification from a company (details supplied) of a proposal of collective redundancy as is required under section 12 of the Protection of Employment Act 1977; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5878/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Protection of Employment Act 1977 imposes a number of obligations on employers who are proposing collective redundancies, including an obligation under sections 9 and 10 to engage in an information and consultation process with employees’ representatives and to provide certain information relating to the proposed redundancies.  Section 11A of the Act provides that, where an employee believes the employer to be in breach of sections 9 or 10, they may pursue a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.  It is also an offence under section 11 of the Act where an employer fails to comply with sections 9 or 10.

There is an obligation under section 12 which makes it mandatory on employers proposing a collective redundancy to notify the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the proposed collective redundancy.

An employer is prohibited from issuing the first notice of dismissal during the mandatory information and consultation period, the duration of which must be at least 30 days.  The Act also provides that at least 30 days must pass from the date on which the Minister has been notified of the collective redundancy before the first dismissal can take effect.

For the avoidance of doubt, the minimum 30 day information and consultation process and the minimum 30 day period from the date of notification may run concurrently, but do not have to.

My Department received official notification of the proposed liquidation of Debenhams on 14 April 2020.  Following a request from my officials to the liquidators for further information, I can confirm that the obligations to me as Minister under section 12 have now been fully complied with.  It is my understanding that the redundancies are envisaged to occur in or around 18 May 2020.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

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