REFORM OF EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS BODIES DELIVERS RESULTS - BRUTON
Mr. Richard Bruton, T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced that he will publish and enact the Workplace Relations (Law Reform) Bill in Q3 2012. The legislation will establish new institutional employment rights and industrial relations structures. A Workplace Relations Commission will bring together the existing services of the Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority, the Labour Relations Commission and the first instance functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, while all appeals will be heard by a single appeals body formed by integrating the appellate functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal into the Labour Court.
Significant progress has already been made to date:
- All first instance complaints are now acknowledged and the employer is notified within 48 hours of the complaint being lodged. Prior to the introduction of the Workplace Relations Customer Service in January this process was taking up to eight months in some cases
- The backlog for Rights Commissioner hearings has been reduced (it took an average of 142 days to schedule a hearing in 2010. Hearings are now scheduled by the LRC within a matter of weeks.)
- A Single Complaint Form replaced 30 existing complaint forms that currently accommodate over 80 specific complaint types across five institutions. 70% of all complainants in February used the new form
Minister Bruton said:
"My plan will streamline the existing structures, procedures and mechanisms. My overall objective is to encourage early resolution of disputes, the vindication of employee rights and minimisation of the costs for employees, employers and Government, in terms of money, time and workplace productivity
"Robust criteria and an open and transparent appointments process will ensure that those appointed are of the highest calibre and have the necessary competencies and experience."
"I wish to thank all those who have contributed to the process so far, in particular those who have worked so hard to deliver the progress achieved, including Ger Deering and his team in the Project Office, my officials and the Chief Officers and staff members of the five employment bodies."
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