Thursday, 30 June 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
51. Mr. Connor asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment if his attention has been drawn to the low levels of pay obtaining in many sectors of the hotel and catering industry; if his attention has been further drawn to the view that the level of pay offered to young people for summer work in the industry often amounts to no more than exploitation; the changes, if any, he will make to ensure realistic pay for employees in the industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. Quinn): Minimum statutory rates of pay and conditions of employment of a wide range of workers employed in hotels and catering establishments are prescribed in Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) made by the Labour Court on the basis of proposals from the Hotels Joint Labour Committee and the Catering Joint Labour Committee respectively. These EROs apply to workers employed in hotels anywhere throughout the State except the County Boroughs of Dublin and Cork and the Borough of Dún Laoghaire and to workers employed in catering establishments anywhere throughout the State except the County Borough of Dublin and the Borough of Dún Laoghaire. The prescribed rates of pay and other conditions apply to all workers covered by the orders, including young people employed for summer work.
Routine inspections are undertaken by inspectors of my Department to ensure that employers are complying with the terms of the EROs. In addition, the inspectors pursue reported breaches of the orders. Appropriate action to ensure compliance with the provisions of the orders is taken where breaches are discovered.
Rates of pay in areas not covered by the EROs are a matter for negotiation  between employers and workers or a trade union acting on their behalf. I should mention, however, that a Joint Labour Committee for catering establishments in the County Borough of Dublin and the Borough of Dún Laoghaire, which do not come within the scope of the existing ERO, has recently been established. It is expected that the new committee will submit proposals for an ERO to the Labour Court in the near future.
The question of negotiating improvements in pay and conditions in the hotel and catering industries is a matter for collective determination between employers and employees and, where appropriate, for the relevant Joint Labour Committees.
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