Wednesday, 10 February 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
153. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has given consideration to a declaration signed by several Ministers for Transport in the EU calling for certain measures to be taken to insure social responsibility in the aviation sector (details supplied); if he will sign this declaration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6991/21]
There is a wide range of Irish and EU law governing employment rights generally, which also apply to employees in the aviation sector in Ireland. The regulation of employment and social protection in the Aviation sector in Ireland is in line with all EU regulations and Irish employment law.
The European Commission, in consultation with Member States, regularly monitors the impact of the aviation internal market on employment and working conditions. Ireland recognises the importance of this work and fully supports it as an important element of the EU internal aviation market.
Ireland is represented on the Commission’s Working Group tasked with reviewing employment conditions in the aviation sector. The Subgroup on social matters related to aircrews (of the Expert Group on the Aviation Internal Market) was created as a key deliverable of the Social report on aviation COM(2019) 120 final. Its aim is to bring together experts both from the aviation side and the employment side of the national administrations to ensure cooperation and coordination on the implementation of EU legislation in relation to aircrews, to share information, and to exchange views on good practices and on how labour law rules may be better enforced in relation to aircrews in order to ensure fair working conditions and a level playing field. Two priority topics were identified by this sub-group for initial attention: self-employment and enforcement of applicable law relating to aircrew and work is ongoing.
Given the extensive laws in place in relation to employment and protection of workers, any change should be clearly evidence based and ensure appropriate consideration of issues such as enterprise development, innovation and expanded employment opportunities. Ireland has consistently argued that matters related to employment rights should continue to be developed on an economy wide basis and not on a sector specific basis.
I will continue to engage with all stakeholders and relevant departments in relation to these matters, including the issues raised by some Member States in their joint statement on 9 December. It is a matter for the Commission in the first instance to determine, in the light of the ongoing work, whether it is appropriate to bring forward a proposal for legislation.
154. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the requirements regarding PPE for driving instructors when providing driver lessons, in particular face masks and hand sanitisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6994/21]
With regard to the wearing of PPE and the making of appropriate safety arrangements, I would like to clarify to the Deputy that driving instructors and driving schools are entirely independent operators and neither the Road Safety Authority nor my Department can dictate how they run their individual businesses. It is up to each driving instructor or driving school to protect themselves, their employees, their families and their customers by adhering to the official Government guidelines on mask wearing and hygiene and, where applicable, guidance from the Labour Employer Economic Forum and the Health and Safety Authority.