In early July, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, announced a fundamental re-structuring of our current system of employment law enforcement with an aim to greatly improving the employment rights system in Ireland and also reducing costs for taxpayers and users of the system. On 15 August, the Consultation Paper on the Reform of the State’s Employment Rights and Industrial Relations Structures and Procedures was published, outlining the proposals and inviting submissions from interested parties by 16 September. The proposals include:

  • a new integrated two-tier structure consisting of a first instance body and an upper tier appellate body to replace the five existing employment rights bodies, namely the Labour Relations Commission, the Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority, the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Labour Court;
  • the ability for individuals to take their own case and not have to rely on a legal representative, a representative body or a labour inspector;
  • a single entry point for claims;
  • a requirement for all related cases to be taken at the same hearing; and
  • a new compliance model to support grievance and dispute resolution as close to the workplace as possible.

We are currently awaiting the Department’s response to submissions from the consultation phase and will update you on future developments.