European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

Irish Congress Trade Unions (ICTU) briefing document on precarious work: 'Insecure & Uncertain: Precarious Work in the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland'.


The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has piblished a briefing document on precarious work: ‘Insecure & Uncertain: Precarious Work in the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland’. 

"Precarious employment is a matter of major concern for the trade union movement and is the subject of considerable debate within politics, the media and academia. 

The Congress report shows that as employment numbers have risen in the aftermath of the crisis, so too has the incidence of precarious employment. 

This has far-reaching negative consequences for working people and wider society which extend beyond the workplace and people’s work experience. A mounting body of evidence demonstrates that precarious employment has an adverse impact on the wellbeing of workers and their families, but also impacts on businesses, the labour market and society at large.

Congress believes that these employment practices should not be tolerated and that there is an urgent need to challenge precarious employment and to recognise that work should be secure and offer decent and reliable hours and pay.

To this end Congress is calling on Government to adopt and implement policies which deliver for workers. We have consistently called for an end to zero hour contracts and are seeking changes to legislation that would provide:

  • A right in law to a guaranteed minimum number of working hours and a legal prohibition on zero-hour contracts;
  • A right to be paid compensation at the pay rate if no work is made available;
  • An amendment to the Terms of Information Employment Act to require an employer to provide a written statement of terms and conditions of employment, including working hours, from day one of employment;
  • The right to claim an alteration to the contract of employment in respect of working hours if, over a specified reference period, their actual working hours were in excess of their contracted hours;
  • Furthermore, Congress is calling for Government to take action on bogus/false self-employment practices. It must publish the report of the public consultation on this issue which closed on March 31, 2016 and move to the development of regulations and the closure of loopholes in the tax system which facilitate their use."


EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.