Ibec warns against introducing new employment laws

‘Legislation is already in place’ to deal with situations such as liquidation of Clerys

Employers’ group Ibec has said it would be unhelpful if the Government was to introduce new laws to deal with situations like the liquidation of Clery’s department store.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland the group’s director of industrial relations and human resources, Maeve McElwee, said “robust remedies already exist to deal with employers whose behaviour falls short of the standard required”.

“The legislation is already in place. It should be tested before adding a burden for employers,” she said.

Ms McElwee will speak at Ibec’s annual employment law conference in Dublin on Thursday at which she will address the shock liquidation of Clerys.

She said Ibec is disappointed at the lack of emphasis on remedies already available to employees which have not been availed of and that Ibec supports responsible corporate behaviour and believes directors should be called to account where appropriate.

Ms McElwee said existing company law allows for the scrutiny of the behaviour of directors in the run-up to a liquidation, with severe consequences for inappropriate conduct.

She says it would be unnecessary and unhelpful to Irish business to propose new draconian employment laws without looking at all the facts.

When asked about the Luas dispute and the possibility of third party intervention she said “three grades have already reached agreement and that shouldn’t be undermined”.

She said: “Given the distance between the two sides at present, it would be difficult to see how intervention would be useful, but if the positions begin to move closer together then it could be helpful.”