Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
563. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if a company (details supplied) has an obligation to attend the Labour Relations Commission and or Labour Court to discuss company redundancy for its staff; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5798/20]
My colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection has legislative and policy responsibility for the Redundancy Payments Act, 1967 and the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act 1984. These Acts confer certain rights and provide statutory payments to employees, subject to certain qualifying criteria in redundancy and insolvency situations.
In accordance with the Companies Act 2014, I have no statutory power to intervene in a court-supervised liquidation, that is subject to oversight of the High Court. Under Part 11 of the Act a company is permitted to initiate a winding up where it has complied with the requirements of the Act.
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Labour Court are independent statutory offices under the aegis of my Department. Negotiation of ex gratia payments in redundancy situations is an industrial relations matter. Ireland’s system of industrial relations is, essentially, voluntary in nature and responsibility for the resolution of industrial disputes between employers and workers, rests with the employer, the workers and their representatives.
Participation in hearings or discussions in the WRC dealing with industrial disputes is voluntary, whether collective or individual. Should both parties wish to avail of the service of the WRC, its services may be available on request.
Participation in hearings before the Labour Court under industrial relations legislation dealing with industrial disputes is also voluntary. In collective matters a Labour Court hearing would normally occur only following a joint request by the parties to the Court to investigate the matter following conciliation at the WRC.
In circumstances, where an individual makes a complaint to the WRC under certain legislation listed under Schedule 5 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, such as the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967, the Adjudication Officer hearing the complaint may, by giving notice in that behalf in writing to any person, require such person to attend at such time and place as is specified in the notice to give evidence in relation to any matter referred to the Adjudication Officer under that section or to produce any documents in his possession, custody or control which relate to any such matter. The WRC Adjudication Officers decision may be appealed to the Labour Court in accordance with the Act.