The Workplace Relations Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 20 May 2015. The Act is expected to be commenced on 1 July 2015.
The Government has published the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015. The main purpose of the proposed legislation is twofold. First, to provide a statutory framework for workers who seek to improve their terms and conditions of employment and second, to re-introduce a mechanism for the registration of employment agreements between employers and employees and/or trade unions. In 2013 the Supreme Court held that the previous system of Registered Employment Agreements was unconstitutional. The latter purpose of the legislation is therefore a significant reform in this area.
The National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill 2015 has also been published. Its aim is to establish a Low Pay Commission on a statutory basis which will examine annually the national minimum wage and make recommendations to Government as may be required.