Written answers

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Employment Rights

Photo of Fiona O'LoughlinFiona O'Loughlin (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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113. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if a protocol is in place in order to ensure the Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017 is being adhered to; the sanctions for companies that are not adhering to the order; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46025/18]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Industrial Relations Act 2015 provides a new framework under which proposals for wage setting in particular economic sectors can be considered. The 2015 Act allows for applications for Sectoral Employment Orders (SEOs) to be made to the Labour Court by a trade union or an employer body either individually or jointly. The Court must then examine and assess the application against the criteria set down in the 2015 legislation.

The Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017 came into law on the 19th October 2017. The rates of pay and other terms and conditions, including sick pay and pension schemes, set out in the SEO apply to every worker of the class, type or group in the economic sector to which the order applies, including agency workers.

In the event of a dispute as to the rates that should apply and to whom, the SEO sets out the dispute resolution procedure that applies. Essentially, this provides that in the first instance efforts should be made at local level to reach a resolution by giving notice in writing to the employer. Failing a resolution at this point, a complaint may be made to an adjudication officer of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). In the case of an individual dispute, the outcome of the adjudication hearing can be appealed by either party to the Labour Court. In the case of a collective dispute, if the issue remains unresolved locally, it will be referred to the conciliation service of the WRC. If the issue remains unresolved after conciliation, it will be referred to the Labour Court for investigation and recommendation.

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