Business Financial

Chambers Ireland Responds to Government Report on Working Conditions

Chambers Ireland has responded to a report from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on working conditions in Ireland. The purpose of the original report was to determine the impact of several different initiatives the government has taken over the past few years, such as auto-enrolment retirement savings, parental leave and benefits, statutory sick pay (SSP), etc.

Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said, “Chambers Ireland notes the findings of the report – specifically that certain sectors (Retail, Accommodation and Hospitality) are being disproportionately affected by the costs associated with these policy changes – confirming the content of our submissions to Government and officials throughout the extensive run up to their implementation.”

“During these consultations, Chambers Ireland has consistently highlighted the fact that most businesses in our economy would be largely unaffected by these policy changes, but that the sectors which were most affected by the Covid lockdowns were likely to experience the greatest rise in costs.” Talbot continued.

Talbot conculded, “The economic shock of these policies has been exacerbated by their implementation occurring over a narrow timeframe – reducing the time available to businesses to adapt. These sectoral effects are also likely to have significant effects in the regions given their dependence on tourism, hospitality, arts and recreation etc. While such policy impact assessments are welcome, it would be beneficial if, in future, such work could be carried out in advance of the policy changes occurring – had this been done it would have been possible to ensure that targeted, effective, sector-specific responses could have been delivered to reduce the impact of their effects.”

Chambers Ireland recommends that in the future:

  • Policy impact assessments be carried out in advance of the implementation of such policies, and such research will consider the interactions between these policies as they are rolled out. 
  • The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment should coordinate the implementation of policies across all government departments that are likely to affect the costs of doing business, to ensure that multiple Departments are not putting cost-increasing policies into effect simultaneously.
  • Where sectoral effects are identified, then appropriate responses are integrated within the policy to ensure a more frictionless transition to the new policy regime.


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