The Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) welcomed the matter in relation to a recently introduced Employment Regulation Order (ERO) SI 231 of 2017, raised in the Seanad earlier this week by Senator Ged Nash. His efforts to raise numerous cases of employees not being paid the legally required rate of pay in the security industry is crucial when most security companies are complying with the recent introduction of this ERO. Senator Nash called on Minister Pat Breen T.D. to pursue legal action against ‘rogue’ security companies who are not complying with the Employment Regulation Order (ERO) which brought into effect a legal requirement on employers of Security Guards to remunerate those employees with a minimum hourly rate of pay of €11.05.
The members of the ISIA were also assured by, and welcomed, a recent communication issued by the Private Security Authority (PSA), the regulator for the private security industry, stressing to licensed security companies that they along with the Workplace Relations Commission, both jointly and separately will be carrying out inspections to ensure that the ERO is being complied with.
The ISIA views this action as critical. Not only are employees within the industry being put at a disadvantage and not receiving what they are legally entitled to, but the organisations who contract services from security firms that do not comply with legislation are putting themselves at risk. The regulator has made it clear in its recent communication to licensed security operators providing security guarding services that ‘the PSA may take action against a contractor’s license up to and including suspension and revocation’. Organisations who have contracted companies that may face a suspension or revocation of their license may find themselves without a security service provider who can carry out their contractual obligations. It is illegal to provide security guarding services without a license issued by the Private Security Authority. Furthermore, it is also illegal to contract the services of a security guarding services company that does not hold a license.
Not only that, but hundreds of employees are being put at risk if their employer is not able to operate and deploy their services. As implied by Senator Nash when he raised this issue in the Seanad, these employees are being ‘treated as a commodity to be used and abused’. The members of the ISIA are committed to compliance with the terms of the ERO (SI 231 of 2017) and to the future increases that will see Security Guards earn a minimum hourly rate that will be more than the Living Wage by 2019.
As stated by Alan Durnan, Past President of the ISIA and a nominated representative on the Security Industry Joint Labour Committee, "the ISIA views reports of security companies acting in breach of this legal requirement as entirely unacceptable and hopes that this blatant disregard for the law will be acted upon by the Rights Commissioner and the regulator for the Private Security Industry".
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