The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on a range of potential options to regulate or restrict the use of zero-hours contracts, including a ban on the inclusion of exclusivity clauses in contracts that prohibited workers from gaining supplemental employment. The consultation would close on 29 September 2014.
Source: Zero Hours Contracts, Northern Ireland Executive
An article examined precarious employment of migrant workers in the mushroom industry in Northern Ireland. It said that there was some evidence of borderline forced labour, but that workers were on a 'continuum of exploitation' that originated in uneven power relationships associated with immigration status.
Source: Michael Potter and Jennifer Hamilton, 'Picking on vulnerable migrants: precarity and the mushroom industry in Northern Ireland', Work, Employment and Society, Volume 28 Number 3
A report examined poverty among different minority-ethnic groups in Northern Ireland, following a period of high levels of inward migration. It said that people from minority-ethnic groups were at particular risk of in-work poverty and, while there was a lack of local level data, the available data indicated that there were high levels of labour market segregation among minority-ethnic groups, and the worst outcomes relating to economic activity, labour market participation, education, and health were found among the Irish Traveller community. The report said that English language skills were perceived as important for success in the labour market, and there was a perception among people from minority-ethnic backgrounds that 'ethnic markers', unfamiliarity with formal recruitment practices, and a lack of networks, restricted their access to the labour market. The report noted that a lack of data had inhibited assessment of the use or impact of government support.
Source: Jenny Irwin, Ruth McAreavey, and Niall Murphy, The Economic and Social Mobility of Ethnic Minority Communities in Northern Ireland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Northern Ireland Executive published the Work and Families Bill. The Bill was designed to make provision about shared rights to leave from work and statutory pay in connection with caring for children; for time off work to accompany to ante-natal appointments or to attend adoption appointments; and to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees with adequate length of service.
Source: Work and Families Bill, Northern Ireland Executive, TSO
A report examined critical issues related to an ageing workforce in Northern Ireland, outlining the barriers faced by those wanting to continue working into older age, and their support, training, and policy needs. The report made recommendations for policy makers and employers.
Source: Ben Franklin, Working Longer in Northern Ireland: Valuing an ageing workforce, International Longevity Centre – UK
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on proposals to create a strategy for economic inactivity, with a view to ensuring that the right support and incentives were available to help people to make a successful transition into employment.
Source: ï¿½Enabling Successï¿½: A consultation on a new strategic framework to tackle economic inactivity in Northern Ireland ï¿½ Driving social change through economic participation, Northern Ireland Executive