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Published 7 August 2018
The Workplace Relations Commission recently published its annual report for 2017, its third such report since its establishment in 2015 and the "bringing under one roof" of various employment-related dispute resolution services. Some highlights include the increased efficiencies in its handling of it's considerable case load which includes the following:
Click below for a summary of the key procedural changes that were introduced by the Workplace Relations Act 2015.
The Workplace Relations Act 2015 was for the most part commenced with effect from 1 October 2015.
All employment and discrimination cases (other than cases brought to the civil Courts) now go to the Workplace Relations Commision (WRC) firstly for Adjudication, and then can be appealed to the Labour Court.
The system as commenced in 2015 comprises of the following: -
Various guidance notes have been published by the WRC on the procedures at each stage and are available on the WRC’s website. Those procedures are largely for guidance only. The Labour Court has published rules for the appeal process, which must be adhered to.
The new tribunal regime does not have any impact on the supervisory role of the civil Courts which can be availed of in appropriate cases e.g. through judicial review.
Having been in place for nearly three years, the achievements of the WRC are evident. However, much of the recent statutory reform is set out as a general framework only. Within that framework Adjudicators can, and do, employ diverging methodologies. It is hoped that the WRC’s Adjudication Division will increasingly focus on guaranteeing procedural certainty for all service users.
The WRC is currently working on its strategy for the next three years. It has been indicated that this includes areas such as an expanding its remit, for example, inclusion of An Garda Síochána.
Additionally, the WRC has indicated that it is working to improve information available for employers and employees alike. This includes raising awareness of its services through advertising, seminars and other media and developing its Outreach Programme. It has further highlighted that by the end of 2018, the target time-frame for the issuing of decisions will generally be less than 6 months from the date of issue, a metric that is already adhered to in 90% of cases.
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