Commenting on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, brought forward by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to address the issue of zero hours and banded hours contracts, Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee said: “The Bill as drafted will have significant adverse consequences. It will deprive employees and employers of the ability to make their own flexible working arrangements and to adapt to change collaboratively.”
Negative consequences arising from the Bill are;
· it will likely act as a deterrent to varying employees’ hours, even at their request
· present challenges in health and social care, where it can be difficult to reasonably know the work requirement within the short timeframes proposed for providing core terms
· impose disproportionate cost and administrative burden incurred in determining the “normal working day” and “normal working week” for every employee, including salaried employees.
Ibec notes that special arrangements may be made for emergency circumstances and short-term relief work, although the extent of those arrangements remain to be seen.
Ms McElwee stated that: “The Bill goes far beyond its intended purpose of protecting workers with low pay/low hour contracts. In addition, there remains an overreliance on criminal prosecution as a means of enforcement in the Bill.
“This is of considerable concern for employers who are generating employment yet are potentially at risk of attracting custodial sentences for even relatively minor breaches of employment law.”