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Battle for migrants key to sustained growth

Posted on July 31, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

IRELAND will become more dependent on immigrant workers over the next few years but most will probably come from outside the European Union according to the Central Bank.
In a new study on labour market demands and net migration trends, the bank’s economists note that recent higher-skilled workers have been coming from southern European states like Spain, Italy and Croatia. Prior to the economic crash and asset bubble, most migrants to Ireland came from the newer EU states like Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Net inward migration will be the most important source of new employees if the economy continues to grow at the rates seen over the past number of years, according to the study.

It adds that inward migration will be critical in ensuring that growth is not impeded by labour or skill shortages.

However, the Central Bank of Ireland study warns the Republic is unlikely to see levels of migration – up to 100,000 a year – similar to those witnessed in the mid-2000s and will face a battle with other countries to secure talent. Furthermore, employers won’t benefit from paying lower wages to migrants as many did during the Celtic Tiger years especially in construction and agriculture jobs.

The accession of 10 eastern European countries to the EU between 2004 and 2007 led to a sharp spike in the number of migrants in the Republic. That helped sustain growth during the tail-end of the boom. But while EU accession countries made up nearly 60% of recently-arrived migrants in employment during those years, they count for just one-in-four new migrants currently.

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Confusion over new gender pay-gap reporting rules

Posted on March 24, 2019 by Miriam Ahern

Align Management Solutions welcomed the new Gender Pay Information Bill which will require businesses and firms to analyse and publish details of any gender-based pay gaps. The legal provision will initially apply to companies with 250 or more employees and the threshold will drop to 50 when the legislation becomes fully operational.

It is an issue that most employers and senior manager have yet to address. Firms in both the public and private sectors will be subject to the requirement and employers would also be obliged to set out the steps they have taken, if any, to tackle the gender pay gap.

Employers will be required to publish the following information when the Gender Pay Information Bill becomes law later in 2019:

The mean and median gap in hourly pay between men and women.
The mean and median gap in bonus pay between men and women.
The mean and median gap in hourly pay of part-time male and female employees.
The percentage of men and of women who received bonus pay.
The percentage of men and of women who received benefits in kind

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The 2019 pay survey from CIPD Ireland and Industrial Relations News (IRN) found that only a quarter of companies in Ireland admitted to having a gender pay gap. The same study also found that only one in five companies had calculated the scale of the problem within their own organisation.

When all respondents in this survey were asked about whether they have a gender pay gap, only 27% responded that they had one. With a gender pay gap in Ireland at a relatively static 14%, and evidence of it across a range of sectors, this indicates the current lack of information and insight on gender pay gap analysis, and the high level of awareness raising that is needed.

Council employees to lose one-hour banking breaks

Posted on April 26, 2015 by administrator

Thousands of workers in Dublin City Council are due to lose one of the last of their special perks next week. No longer with clerks, administrators, drivers, engineers, rent collectors and managers be allowed an extra one hour time-off to go to the bank.

In an era of ATM lodgement and withdrawal machines in corner shops, on-line banking by mobile phone and iPad, the excuse that it takes an hour to check their account or make a transaction no longer seems justified.

The days of “I’m just nipping out to the bank” to cover an hour’s paid break are coming to an end.

Three years ago council staff lost their special day’s leave to celebrate the King’s Birthday and for Empire Day even though Ireland had gained independence from the United Kingdom 90 years earlier. Likewise council staff around the country lost their local privilege days to attend race meetings or music festivals.

The practice of having a ‘banking hour’ for staff at Dublin City Council (DCC) is to end in May, as the Labour Court has found there is “no longer justification” for it to continue.

This banking -time was given to DCC staff, who are members of SIPTU and IMPACT unions, to allow them to use banking facilities.

However, the Council has said that such a practice is now unnecessary and inappropriate “given the wide range of available banking service to clients.”

SIPTU & IMPACT stated at a recent Labour Court hearing that the banking -hour was brought in when salary payments were to be made by Paypath/electronic funds transfer, The claimed that the hour had “become an established condition of employment.”

The City Council argued that the banking time practice has been dropped across most of the public service and without any compensation for its withdrawal.

The Labour Court noted that it was not unreasonable for the council to seek the removal of the banking-hour in light of the “significant and material changes in banking services and practices since bank-time was first introduced.”

As its original intent was for the hour to be taken during working -time, “its elimination could not be fairly characterised as involving an extension of the working week for those affected by the proposal”, said the Labour Court’s chairman, Kevin Duffy.