NIC-ICTU call for self-employed, ZHC workers and agency workers to be covered

24 Mar 2020

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The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are calling for certainty and clarity for the self-employed, the ZHC workers and agency workers during this COVID19 crisis.

Speaking today, Owen Reidy, Assistant General Secretary stated, “we welcomed the Chancellors announcement of the radical job retention scheme, but clearly there are other workers in the economy who must not be left behind. Northern Ireland has 135,000 self-employed workers, 11,000 zero hours contract workers and nearly 9,000 agency workers. Together they represent nearly 20% of the workforce and many of them are vulnerable workers with families that require urgent assistance. It is critical that the government act now and that the same solidarity is demonstrated to these category of workers as was shown last week to others that are covered by the scheme.

"In order for the scheme to fully function in Northern Ireland in the interests of business and workers the government must now set up a this labour market group comprising of unions, employers and government that we have been advocating. Let’s see real leadership from our local devolved government now similar to other governments that are addressing workers concerns and interests by setting up such a group (albeit in remotely) immediately.”