Chambers Ireland’s Response to the Department of Enterprise’s Working Conditions Report

Speaking today (5th March) on the publication of the Department of Enterprise’s Working Conditions Report, Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said: 

“Chambers Ireland notes the findings of the report –specifically that certain sectors (Retail, Accommodation and Hospitality) are being disproportionately affected by the costs associated with these policy changes – confirming the content of our submissions to Government and officials throughout the extensive run-up to their implementation. 

During these consultations, Chambers Ireland has consistently highlighted the fact that most businesses in our economy would be largely unaffected by these policy changes, but that the sectors which were most affected by the Covid lockdowns were likely to experience the greatest rise in costs.

The economic shock of these policies has been exacerbated by their implementation occurring over a narrow timeframe – reducing the time available to businesses to adapt. These sectoral effects are also likely to have significant effects in the regions given their dependence on tourism, hospitality, arts and recreation etc.

While such policy impact assessments are welcome, it would be beneficial if, in future, such work could be carried out in advance of the policy changes occurring – had this been done it would have been possible to ensure that targeted, effective, sector-specific responses could have been delivered to reduce the impact of their effects.”

Chambers Ireland recommends that, in future:

Policy impact assessments be carried out in advance of the implementation of such policies, and that such research will consider the interactions between these policies as they are rolled out.  

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment centrally coordinate the implementation of policies across Government that are likely to affect the costs of doing business to ensure that multiple Departments are not putting cost-increasing policies into effect simultaneously. 

Where sectoral effects are identified, then sectoral responses are integrated within the policy to ensure a more frictionless transition to the new policy regime.

Chambers Ireland would like to acknowledge the comprehensive work of the teams in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and IGEES that supported this research.