Ibec congratulates Leo Varadkar on his election as Taoiseach. We in the business community look forward to engaging productively with him and his cabinet colleagues, in support of job creation in a thriving economy, and ensuring a prosperous society.
While Government focus has, perhaps understandably, been diverted in recent days by leadership changes, it is important now to focus on developments for the Irish labour market and the impact on business.
The Government is currently drafting a Bill proposing to introduce legislation on zero and low hours work contracts. Ibec believes this will be a crude piece of legislation, imposing significant cost and regulatory burdens on all employers to address a problem that is very small in the overall scale of the labour market.
Ibec continues to press for a full and robust regulatory impact assessment because we believe this response is disproportionate; it will, undermine competitiveness, could have significant adverse consequences for employees along with deterring investment and employment growth.
Brexit will inevitably have an impact on the movement of labour between Ireland and the UK so it is important to minimise any effects. Irish firms have invested heavily in the UK, generating an annual turnover there of around €37.6 billion. Irish companies in Britain employ 86,000 people, while UK companies in Ireland employ 73,000. Any change to the ability of companies to move employees freely between both jurisdictions will have a significant impact on Irish business.
We were happy to note last month’s inaugural meeting of the National Skills Council (NSC), marking the final stage in the establishment of a new structure to encourage deeper business engagement with the education and training system.
Finally, a note of congratulations and thanks to Enda Kenny who stepped down this week after six years as Taoiseach. He represented our country with great energy and dignity.
Registered directors: Anne Heraty (President), Edel Creely, Leo Crawford, Gerry Collins, Larry Murrin, John Kennedy, Danny McCoy, Liam O'Donoghue, Paraic Curtis, Kevin Toland, Brian MacCraith, Siobhan Talbot, Patrick Manley, Alastair Blair, Richie Boucher, Frank Gleeson, Cathriona Hallahan, Tony Smurfit.