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Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreement System in Need of Radical Overhaul

3 Jun 2011

Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreement System in Need of Radical Overhaul

The Report of the Independent Review of Employment Regulation Orders (EROs)[1] and Registered Employment Agreement Wage Setting Mechanisms (REAs)[2] was published on 24 May 2011. The Report concluded that the basic framework of the current JLC/REA regulatory system should be retained, but that the system is in need of a radical overhaul to make it more responsive to the changing economic and labour market conditions.

The Report, which was commissioned by the Government in relation to The National Recovery Plan, 2011 to 2014, made the following recommendations:-

  • That the Labour Court undertake or commission a report into the scope of all remaining JLCs to ensure that the range of establishments to which they apply remains appropriate;
  • That geographically based JLCs be abolished;
  • JLCs in relation to Aerated Waters, Provender Milling and Clothing sectors be abolished;
  • The Labour Court to be authorised to exclude an undertaking to which a collective agreement applies from the scope of a JLC;
  • In the absence of a national agreement, the Labour Court is to provide general guidelines to JLCs on appropriate pay;
  • Limited ability to derogate from the national minimum wage;
  • Standardisation of overtime payments and Sunday premium across the various JLCs;
  • Streamlined procedures by which the Labour Court can cancel the Registration of an REA if the circumstances have altered as to make the continued registration of the Agreement undesirable;
  • Derogation from the terms of the ERO or REA on economic grounds and simplification of compliance requirements on employers;
  • Streamlined enforcement mechanisms for EROS to be brought into line with those available for REAs. Currently EROs may only be enforced through prosecution in the District Court.

Following the publication of the Report, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, Richard Burton TD, announced that a Government action plan for reform would be announced before the end of June 2011.

The Government action plan will consist of reform proposals arising from the recommendations and issues raised within the Report as well as from input from relevant stakeholders.

For further details please contact Compton Aylmer Solicitors at +1 234 2678.

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The Information in this document is provided subject to the disclaimer contained on the Compton Aylmer website. The material is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice.

[1]The various agreements on pay and conditions made by Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) are known as Employment Regulation Orders (EROs).

[2] Agreements which result from negotiations between trade unions and employers are called Collective Agreements. If a Collective Agreement has been registered with the Labour Court it is known as a Registered Employment Agreement (REA).