Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Party Chairman Martin Heydon has been advised by Minister with responsibility for employment affairs that she has sought the advice of the Attorney General with regard to concerns raised by the Horse Racing and breeding industry following a recent labour court determination.  Minister Regina Doherty was responding to a question from Deputy Martin Heydon.

“From my base in Kildare South, I am acutely aware of the difficulties and concerns that have arisen in many trainers’ yards following the recent Labour Court determination.  I discussed the issue with my colleague Agriculture Minister Michael Creed who is also aware of the deep concerns that exist and its significant impact on the sector, particularly for smaller operators.  His department officials are engaging with their counterparts in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who hold responsibility for employment rights.

“Direct responsibility for employment affairs rests with my colleague Minister Regina Doherty who advised me this week that she has sought advice from Attorney General Seamus Wolfe in relation to the concerns.  She is seeking his view on the possibility of providing exemptions from the Organisation of Working Time Act for the sector within the derogations permitted under the Working Time Directive.

“I will continue to work with my ministerial colleagues to see this issue addressed in a manner that will provide the appropriate protections for employees but also allow employers in the industry to operate as they need to, to meet the demands of the industry.