IBEC, the group that represents Irish business, today said that plans by the government to reintroduce the JLC wage-setting system were misguided and unnecessary. Reacting to today's announcement by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, IBEC said that workers affected by the recent High Court decision continue to enjoy the full range of statutory employment rights that apply to all employees in the State, and no additional measures are required.
IBEC director Brendan McGinty said: "While some of the proposals, such as the abolition of Sunday premiums, are an improvement over the last regime, the entire JLC system should have been consigned to history.
"The recent High Court decision has not provoked the crisis that some predicted. Employers have respected the fact that existing employees have contractual rights to predetermined JLC rates unless and until they freely agree otherwise. Any attempt to reinstate the JLC system will be fraught with constitutional uncertainty and will be open to further legal challenge.
"The recent High Court decision created a better environment to maintain current employment and create new jobs. Sufficient time should have been given to see how the labour market adjusted, before a rush to bring in new legislation.
"Ireland has the second highest national minimum wage in the EU, and all employees are protected by over 40 pieces of employment legislation. The move to bring in new legislation means that workers in some sectors that can least afford it will have higher sectoral minimum wages and other benefits not available to other private sector workers. The government proposals are arbitrary and unnecessary. "