ULA motion on JLCs

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Dáil Éireann notes:


1) That the Duffy/Walsh Report to the Minister for Enterprise, Employment and Innovation  concludes inter alia : “We have concluded that lowering the basic JLC rates to the level of the minimum wage rate is unlikely to have a substantial effect on employment.? and “ we conclude that it is not accurate to suggest that the body of primary employment rights legislation currently in force adequately covers matters dealt with by EROs and REAs.?

2) That According to the OECD, Ireland suffers from some of the highest levels of low pay. Over 21% of full time employees are low paid, compared to a Eurozone average of 14.7% and  EU Commission data shows that labour costs (include wages and employers’ contributions) in the Food & Accommodation sector in Ireland are 6% below the EU-15 average.

3) That very many people covered by JLC/EROs and REAs are vulnerable people such as immigrants and young people and those working in small employments not amenable to trade unionisation

4) That the majority of workers covered by the JLC/EROs and REAs system are women and that any reduction in remuneration in this sector will widen the gender income gap contrary to national and EU policy

5) That due to the serious and disproportionate reduction in male employment, female workers form a higher proportion of primary bread winners and that reduction in female earnings would have a major impact on household and child poverty contrary to national and EU policy.

6)That reduction in the remuneration of already lowly paid employees will result in a reduction in revenue to the state through PAYE and VAT and will lead to an increase in claims for Family Income Supplement payments.

7)That any reduction in remuneration to employees covered by JLCs and REAs will transfer income from the lowly paid to employers and/or  investors including some large multi-national companies

8) That any reduction in remuneration to affected employees who spend their entire income in Ireland will reduce demand in the economy and accelerate the elimination of jobs caused by the policies of the previous government and the support by the current government for the measures contained in Budget 2011

9)That it is this reduction in demand in the economy that is destroying jobs not JLC/ERO rates.

10) That any provision for  derogation from JLC/ ERO and REA rates of remuneration in individual employments is likely to lead to a collapse of the system as a whole and the reduction of already low wages generally, further reduction in demand and increased job elimination in the economy as a whole.


Dáil Éireann deplores any proposal of Minister Bruton to enact any of the following measures:


  • Reduction of JLC and/or REA rates
  • Reduction or abolition of extra pay for working unsocial hours such as on Sunday.
  • Allow employers to claim ‘ an inability to pay’.
  • Reduction in overtime rates.
  • Removal of protection for young workers under 18.
  • Removal of annual increases for years of service
  • Removal of recognition of craft grades
  • Reduction of the number of Employment Regulation Orders and end coverage of working conditions such as sick pay.
  • Allowing employers not to keep proper employment records, which would make it easier to evade the law.


Dail Eireann calls on the government as a whole to abandon these measures and believes that if Labour Party deputies in particular vote against this motion they will be in breach of the principle of solidarity with the lower paid and the best traditions of Larkin and Connolly