Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Workplace Relations Commission

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, RISE)
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157. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will report on the workings of the Workplace Relations Commission. [43851/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) plays a key role in Irish society and the Irish economy. Its services help to maintain industrial relations stability, mediate and adjudicate in individual disputes, raise awareness of and improve industrial and employment relations generally, promote, monitor and enforce compliance with employment standards and provides recourse for people who feel they have been discriminated against in the delivery of services and in work.

It has an annual budget of €14.9M and has an internal structure that comprises five distinct Divisions.

The Conciliation, Facilitation and Mediation Division plays a key role in the voluntary resolution of collective and individual industrial relations and employment rights disputes in Ireland.

The Advisory Division provides advice and assistance to employees, employers, and trade unions in situations where there is no trade dispute. It helps employers and employees to develop positive working relationships and mechanisms to solve problems.

The Adjudication Division deals with complaints which are submitted for adjudication under a range of legislation.

The Inspection and Enforcement Division monitors employment conditions to ensure compliance with and, where necessary the enforcement of employment rights legislation.

The Information and Customer Service area provides information on rights and entitlements under employment legislation and registers complaints submitted for adjudication.

Notwithstanding the impact of Covid19, significant progress has been made by the WRC during 2020, including;

- Expanding in-person delivery of WRC services to its offices in Ennis and Carlow, with significant progress also made in the development of the WRC’s new Cork premises.

- 6,875 site visits which combined Covid-19 and employments rights monitoring, with €1,588,000 unpaid wages recovered.

- Dealing with over 51,000 calls via the WRC Information Service.

- Setting up remote hearings, where appropriate, and adapting physical hearings to accommodate social distancing requirements.


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