05/07/2017

Security Firms Not Paying Legal Hourly Rate Should Lose State Contracts

Security firms with State contracts who are not paying the legal hourly rate of pay to their staff should lose their taxpayer-funded work, Labour Senator Ged Nash, has said.

Senator Nash told the Seanad that up to 20,000 security officers are entitled to a pay rise from the 1st of June.

The agreement is part of a legally binding Order, which was established by the labour law reforms introduced by the Labour Party in Government.

Senator Nash, who is the party's spokesperson on Labour Affairs and Workers' Rights, said: "The legal hourly rate now stands at €11.05 per hour, up from €10.75. I have been made aware that some companies – both large and small – are failing to comply with the law. Some of these outfits enjoy contracts from the State.

"Public procurement rules require that those who are awarded work from the State must be tax compliant and compliant with the law of the land.

"The Security Employment Regulation Order is the law of the land and where the law is breached, action to remove State work from the offending companies should soon follow.

"Failure to pay your staff the basic legal rate of pay is robbery – plain and simple.

"Failure to pay the same legal rate as other companies in the Security sector distorts the process for tendering and is a slap in the face for decent business owners who respect and value their staff as an intrinsic part of their enterprise.

"I am encouraged that of the 17 firms inspected by the WRC last year, just five were found to be in breach of the Order that was in place from October 2015 to the 1st June of this year.

"But the State has to take a much firmer and more robust approach where workers are openly robbed of money that is rightfully theirs.

"Strip errant firms of their State contracts and their Private Security Authority licence and they'll soon come into line."

(MH/LM)

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