Senator Alice-Mary Higgins launches TASC report on Precarious Work

Senator Higgins with Dr Mary Murphy, Alicja Bobek and Sinead Pembroke at the launch of the TASC Report on Precarious Work
Senator Higgins with Dr Mary Murphy, Alicja Bobek and Sinead Pembroke at the launch of the TASC Report on Precarious Work

Senator Higgins spoke at the launch of the latest TASC report examining the social implications of precarious work. The report examines the drivers behind the recent rise in precarious work and its impact on the lives of individuals and society. In particular the report examines the areas of health, housing, employment and family formation and reveals the ways in which precarious work leads to precarious lives. 

In her remarks, Senator Higgins said that the introduction of precarious work was the result of the pursuit of a particular ideology which has also seen an increase of in-work poverty and escalating inequality. It did not come about as a result of hard choices made during a difficult recession, but rather the recession was seized as an opportunity to erode established norms and remake the employment landscape. 

Senator Higgins commended the writers of the report for providing insight into the intersection between precarious work and social outcomes, including family formation. She highlighted that the ongoing undervaluing of family care work has been echoed by the undervaluing of formal care work where variable hours, low wages and insecurity are common features. 

The report demonstrates that precarious work impacts on society as a whole as well as on individuals and families, through increasing pressure on our social welfare and health systems.

Trade unions are a key means of resisting the rise in precarious employment. Sectors with a high rate of unionization are less vulnerable to the changing patterns of insecurity and precarity. A key means of supporting unionization would be the restoration of a tax relief for union membership. This is something which Senator Higgins is calling for and will be renewing pressure for in advance of Budget 2019.

Read the full report here:

More Stories

Senator Higgins, Senator Lynn Ruane and others have called on parties in Government formation talks to take concrete steps to address racism in Ireland

We all need to be in solidarity with those taking a stand against racism right now in the United States. We also need to face up to and challenge racism here in Ireland. Myself, Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator Frances Black have sent a letter co-signed by 20 other members of the Oireachtas to the leaders of the three parties currently in Government formation talks calling on them resolutely reject racist policy and rhetoric and commit to real action on inclusion and equality. ... We believe the next programme for government must; * Legislate against Hate Crime * End Direct Provision * Legislate to reverse impact of 27th amendment and stop the deportation of Irish born children * Enact our Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill * Re-establish a National Anti-Racism Body.

It is also vital that those who have sought to exploit inflammatory and racist language for perceived political or electoral advantage are not given any part in government.