The failure of the Irish Government to adopt EU working time legislation for mobile workers has created a farcical enforcement situation for employers, claims the Freight Transport Association of Ireland.
The Association has written to Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, asking him to urgently address the issue and demanding compensation for employers who have been wrongly prosecuted.
FTA Ireland has been pressing Mr Bruton’s department and the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) since December 2013 to acknowledge and enforce legislation that is currently in force throughout the EU.
FTA Ireland says failure to do so means the roadside Gardai and Road Safety Authority (RSA) officers are using EU law while officers of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) make findings against employers under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1977 – despite the fact that some of the regulations are incompatible.
FTA Ireland General manager Neil McDonnell said: “The Irish legislation being applied by the LRC and Mr Bruton’s department is not applicable to mobile workers. It requires only a short piece of secondary legislation to resolve the situation, yet we have been waiting for 18 months.
“The LRC is acting ultra vires in its treatment of the issue, for which Mr Bruton is personally responsible. We understand the legislation is ready to go so we have written to urge him to sign it immediately and compensate those who have been unfairly penalised.”