Ibec, the organisation that represents Irish business, has rejected the assertion made by ICTU that precarious work is pervasive in this economy.
Maeve McElwee, Ibec Director of Employer Relations today said: “Ibec disputes the statement that there is an ‘alarming growth in precarious employment’ as set out in the Irish Congress Of Trade Unions Report. According to Eurostat’s definition of precarious employment Ireland has the 3rd lowest rate in the EU-15”.
With employment growth at 2.9% in the first half of this year the clear trend has been towards full-time employment. The number of people part-time underemployed has reduced by 43% since 2012 to the same level experienced in 2008. The number of temporary employees as a percentage of the workforce fell by 20% from 2011 to 2016, with the number of people working variable hours at the lowest since 2000.
The Report lacks balance in its observations on precarious employment. It fails to recognise the multiplicity of factors that influence workers’ decisions on their level of labour market participation, including issues such as, work-life balance and childcare, transport and commuter costs. Many of these factors also feed into the decision to work in a self-employed capacity and therefore to have control of the hours an individual will offer the labour market. The report itself acknowledges that it is very difficult to distinguish precisely between self-employment that is precarious and that which is not. Ireland already has very significant labour and employment rights protections for all workers whatever the nature of their contract status.