Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Employment Rights

Patricia Ryan (Kildare South, Sinn Fein)
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227. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the status of the sectoral employment orders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44573/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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You will be aware that on the 23 June 2020, the High Court ruled that the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) (Electrical Contracting Sector) Order (SI 251 of 2019), providing minimum rates of remuneration and other matters for workers in the electrical contracting sector was made ultra vires, that is, outside the powers of the parent legislation. The SEO therefore has no legal effect.

Furthermore, the High Court issued a Declaration that the legislative mechanism for SEOs is contrary to Article 15.2 of the Constitution. The judge found that Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 essentially allows for the making of legislation outside the exclusive competency of the Houses of Oireachtas. Nevertheless, the High Court agreed to stay the declaration of unconstitutionality, pending an outcome of an appeal.

The Minister has been granted leave to appeal this decision in its entirety in the Supreme Court. The appeal will be heard in mid-February 2021.

This means that the SEO in the construction sector and another for the Mechanical Engineering sector currently stand.

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