Congress Charter for Fair Conditions at Work

Decent working conditions and a fair income – at work and in retirement - are essential components of any civilised society, along with the provision of high quality public services that meet all the citizen’s needs. The Congress Charter sets out the key elements required to make Ireland the best place in which to work, live and raise a family.

A strong economy cannot exist without a fair society.

A Living Wage

A living wage affords an individual sufficient income to achieve an agreed, acceptable minimum standard of living, taking account of the need for food, clothing, heating, accommodation, transport and other essential costs. Currently, it is estimated that in order to earn a living income from full-time work -taking account of taxes and welfare - it would be necessary for a single adult to earn at least €11.50 per hour. 

Fair Hours of Work

Every worker has the right to a regular contract of employment which provides security of hours and certainty of income. There must be an end to low and zero hour contracts and precarious work practices.

Right to Representation & Collective Bargaining

Every worker has the right to be represented without fear of victimisation and to have a union represent them in collective bargaining negotiations with their employer. This right is recognised by the United Nations as a fundamental human right. The European Convention on Human Rights also recognises the right of workers to be represented and to engage in collective bargaining. Ireland has no legal framework which supports workers seeking to assert these rights.

Respect, Equality & Ethics at Work

Every worker is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, as they go about their work. No one at work should be subjected to discrimination, harassment, bullying or any other form of abusive behaviour. To ensure this right is vindicated, a national Charter of Workplace Ethics must be developed and put in place.

Fair Public Procurement

Every worker employed under a publicly-tendered contract is entitled to enjoy all the rights and protections outlined in this Charter.