Draft legislation was published by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, before the summer recess with the main purpose of reducing the existing workplace dispute resolution system from five bodies to two.
The activities of the National Employment Rights Authority, the Labour Relations Commission, the Equality Tribunal and the first instance functions of the Labour Court and the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) will be merged into a new body of first instance called the Workplace Relations Commission. All appeals will be heard by the Labour Court, which will assume responsibility for all appellate functions currently exercised by the Labour Court and the EAT. The only further appeal that will be available will be to the High Court on a point of law.
It is expected that the Bill will be enacted before the end of 2014.