Protection of young workers failing

 

THE Government has been accused of hypocrisy for introducing legislation to protect young workers when it was not enforcing existing legislation.

Mr Brendan Archbold, a full time organiser of Mandate in Dublin, alleged that a major supermarket chain was regularly breaking the law in relation to the hours required of young workers. The Department of Enterprise and Employment accepted that this was the case, he said.

But the Department had also told the union that it had been advised by the Chief State Solicitor's Office that prosecutions would not be brought unless the young employees were prepared to provide affidavits and give evidence in court.

Mr Denis O'Brien, of the Dublin grocery division, said that he had "to do battle with employers to allow young people to finish work at 10 p.m." if the Government is serious about monitoring the hours worked by young people it should introduce clocking in cards, he said. This would establish precisely what hours were being worked.