Description:In 2013, the Government initiated a review of the operation of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Acts 2001 and 2004 in order to “ensure compliance by the State with recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights”.
Ibec’s position is that Ireland’s legislative and industrial relations framework is in full compliance with international law and no action is necessary to bring Irish legislation into line with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
Implication(s):Throughout the history of the State, Ireland has enjoyed a voluntarist industrial relations tradition. Employers who want to deal with trade unions can do so; employers who do not want to, do not have to. There are forums to deal with disputes and there are mechanisms to deal with exceptional circumstances. The system has worked well in delivering industrial peace in recent years. The direct engagement model has been one of the drivers of our economic growth, and remains central to sustaining Ireland’s economic recovery. Any fundamental change to this system runs the risk of upsetting the careful balance that has been struck between employees and employers, at a time when labour market stability is in everyone's interest.
Current Position:Ibec are continuing to engage with the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation in relation to the review of the industrial relations legislation. We recognise that there is a need for reform of how the current legislation operates in practice. As part of this exercise, we would like to see the real problems which have been identified – breaches of natural justice, an over reliance on trade union norms – being addressed. However, it is critical that we maintain the core principles of our voluntarist industrial relations model and employment rights framework.
Phone: +353 1 605 1601