Frank Fahey’s call to cut the National Employment Rights Agency’s budget because it is doing its job of protecting employee welfare is “scandalous”.
This is the view of Labour councillor Derek Nolan, who has sharply criticised Fianna Fáil Galway West TD Frank Fahey, who last week, accused the National Employment Rights Agency of taking a “zealous approach” to enforcing regulations.
Dep Fahey said that while it was “very important” that the “high standards” which have been achieved in employment rights are maintained, it was “not fair” that NERA officers were “interfering in work arrangements which both employers and employees are very happy with”.
He called for NERA’s budget to be cut and for it to be amalgamated with another regulatory organisation.
However Dep Fahey has been accused of promoting a “wink and nod - turn a blind eye regulation” by Cllr Nolan.
“That Deputy Fahey would call for a cut in the budget of a statutory agency because it was doing its job of protecting employee welfare is scandalous,” he said.
“Strict enforcement of employment law promotes compliance across the board. To do otherwise is to promote a culture of disregarding obligations, the dilution of rights, and the potential abuse of workers.”
Cllr Nolan said employment legislation is “carefully balanced” to reflect the concerns of workers and employers but that it also gives employers “the stronger hand”, particularly in times of high unemployment.
“For that reason a strong watchdog to ensure compliance is crucial,” he said. “Deputy Fahey should be commending NERA, not threatening it.”