Ibec welcomes the publication of the Report of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) Working Group on Collective Bargaining
Ibec, the group that represents business, welcomes the publication of the Report of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) Working Group on Collective Bargaining and the Industrial Relations Landscape. This review, established by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in early 2021, was timely given the labour market trends and legislative developments domestically and internationally.
The key trends identified in the Report were the business focus on shaping their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, the international momentum, particularly in the US towards a stakeholder value model of the corporation and the proposed Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages at EU level.
This Directive, on which the European Parliament and the Council reached political agreement in June this year, when transposed will require member states with a collective bargaining coverage rate below 80% to adopt measures with a view to enhancing collective bargaining. Ireland’s current collective bargaining coverage is approximately 34%. The Directive will oblige the government to develop action plans and frameworks to promote collective bargaining and these will be subject to ongoing review.
Danny McCoy said “It is important to look forward, for business to work to shape the right conditions for future engagements and maintain the best aspects of our existing, very stable industrial relations environment.
“There was strong consensus in the Working Group that the recommendations contained in the report to the Tánaiste, if implemented, will be a significant first step in progressing a positive momentum in collective bargaining coverage and meeting our upcoming obligations under the Directive.”
The focus of the Group’s work has been to propose means by which plans and frameworks, developed by the social partners in conjunction with the State, can be put in place so that Ireland is well-positioned to meet its obligations under EU law. The Working Group considered the current framework and identified the three areas of Joint Labour Committees, the Industrial Relations Acts 2001 – 2004 and Good Faith Engagements as the most productive areas of focus in improving the current industrial relations landscape.