Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
170. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the status of the review by the company law review group on the legal provisions surrounding collective redundancies and the liquidation of companies to ensure that the rights of workers are effectively protected; when he will publish the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43939/20]
The Company Law Review Group is a statutory advisory body charged with advising me on matters pertaining to company law. Its membership is broad and representative of key stakeholders who have expertise and interest in the area, such as employee and employer representative groups, the Revenue Commissioners, insolvency and legal practitioners and regulators.
It is important to note that membership of the CLRG is voluntary and members give their time freely outside of their day to day jobs and I am grateful for the Group's continued effort.
The CLRG has worked intensively with my Department since March 2020 to examine issues arising in company law as a result of COVID-19. In addition to this work, I wrote to the CLRG on 31st July setting out its work programme for 2020 - 2022. As part of this work programme, I requested that the CLRG consider whether the legal provisions surrounding collective redundancies and the liquidation of companies effectively protect the rights of workers, as a matter of priority. I have asked that they report to me by 31st December 2020.
The CLRG is actively considering the matter referred to by the Deputy and is engaging with stakeholders such as ICTU, IBEC, ISME and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement to address specific issues identified pertaining to the Companies Act 2014. This is a considerable and complex body of work being undertaken and I am conscious of the timeframe set. I look forward to receiving their report and its publishing on the CLRG's website shortly thereafter.
Issues surrounding workers' rights when a company goes into liquidation have come to the fore especially in light of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. Government will be ready to act on the CLRG's findings and propose legislation where this can achieve results.