Date Released: 16 August 2016
SIPTU has demanded that the Government complies with a Labour Court recommendation to provide staff made redundant following changes to the LEADER and SICAP local development programmes with redundancy terms comparable to workers on similar schemes.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins said: “It is unacceptable that workers providing what are accepted to be corresponding services in schemes funded and controlled by the Government are not treated equally. The Labour Court has recommended that workers employed in Local Development Companies funded by the LEADER and SICAP programmes are provided with similar redundancy terms as Rural Transport scheme workers.
“However, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, and her officials, who have responsibility for all these schemes, have so far refused to comply with this recommendation from the State’s primary industrial relations agency”.
He added, “LEADER workers are currently only provided with a contract that provides for statutory redundancy, with a clause that limits employer liability to the period 2014 to 2020. Those employed in SICAP funded Local Development Companies are provided with an entitlement of one and a half weeks pay per year of employment plus statutory redundancy to a maximum of €40,000.
“This compares to workers employed on the Rural Transport scheme who are entitled to a payment equalling three weeks’ pay per year of employment plus statutory redundancy, limited to a maximum payment of two years’ salary.
“As the Labour Court found, this approach of discriminating against a set of workers who provide a state funded service compared to another set carrying out a similar role is completely unacceptable.
“Our members are demanding that the Minister move to end the discriminatory practices of her Department in relation to these workers and ensure their right to equal treatment is respected. They support a call for the Minister to agree to meet ICTU representatives to discuss this issue.”