The Labour Court public consultation process on the variation of the Sectoral Employment Order ("SEO") for Mechanical Engineering and Building Services Contractors is closing soon. The deadline for submissions by interested parties is 5pm on 24 September 2019.

The background to the Labour Court consultation process and review exercise is that Connect Trade Union and Unite the Union submitted a request to the WRC on 30 July 2019 for a review and variation of the existing SEO (S.I. 59/2018). The current SEO came into effect on 6 March, 2018.

Recently, the two trade unions agreed variations in relation to pay scales with one employer body, the Mechanical Engineering and Building Services Contractors’ Association. The trade unions now wish to extend the scope of the agreement sector wide.

The category of workers affected includes both qualified and apprentice plumbers and pipefitters in the mechanical engineering building services contracting sector, together with workers in that category with welding qualifications and experience. The terms and conditions which are in scope for review are:

  • Remuneration;
  • Sick pay scheme; and
  • Pension scheme.

Under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2015, the Labour Court must consider:

  • The terms of any relevant current national agreement relating to pay and conditions;
  • The potential impact on competitiveness in the sector; and
  • The general level of remuneration in other economic sectors in which workers of the same class, type or group are employed.

The Labour Court is obliged to have regard to the submissions received during consultation. As such, the consultation process and any subsequent oral hearing on the matter are important opportunities for stakeholders in the construction sector to contribute to the content of the SEO.

Please note, when making your submission, that the Labour Court will publish all received submissions on its website.