Establishment of new employment rights and industrial relations structures

March 2012

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton, T.D. recently announced that he will publish and enact the Workplace Relations (Law Reform) Bill in the autumn of 2012. A blueprint document for consultation purposes will be published by the end of March.

The legislation will establish a two-tiered employment rights and industrial relations structure:

  1. A new Workplace Relations Commission, bringing together the Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority, the Labour Relations Commission, and, the first instance functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
  2. A separate appeals body will be formed by the integration of the appellate functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal into an expanded Labour Court.

The legislation will establish three options for resolving complaints:

  1. Early resolution
    A Case Resolution Officer will assist parties to resolve the dispute.
  2. Inspection 
    Compliance Officers will seek voluntary compliance where employment law breaches are detected and may impose “on-the-spot” fines.
  3. Adjudication
    Adjudication will be provided by one decision-maker but there will a right of appeal to a three-person tribunal. The adjudicator’s decision will be made within twenty-eight (28) days of the hearing date.

If you require further information on the proposed legislation to reform the employment rights and industrial relations structures please contact O’Callaghan Kelly.

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