Legislation on Sunday workday promised


LEGISLATION will be introduced to prevent Sunday working from being compulsory for shop workers, the Minister of State for Science, Commerce and Technology, Mr Pat Rabbitte has said.

Mandate, which met the Minister yesterday about a wide range of working arrangements for shop employees, including increasing casualisation in the retail sector, described the meeting as constructive".

The trade union welcomed Mr Rabbitte's remarks, after the meeting, that shop workers demands for a statutory right not to work on Sundays were reasonable and could be accommodated.

It called for the Government parties and Fianna Fail to co operate with a view to having the appropriate legislation enacted before a general election is called.

The Fianna Fail TD Mr Tom Kitt, already has introduced a Private Members Bill to the Dail which includes a provision that shop workers can opt out of Sunday working without detriment to their conditions of employment.

On Easter Sunday, Dunnes Stores has agreed not to open its chain of shops, although it is expected that Marks & Spencer and Debenham will be open.

Mr Rabbitte said that the Working Time Bill, introduced by the Minister of State, Ms Eithne Fitzgerald, had dealt with a number of matters regarding Sunday working.

These included a mandatory premium and minimum notice for Sunday work and the ending of zero hour contracts for casual employees.

However, this legislation could not accommodate a clause preventing Sunday work for shop workers from being compulsory.