Reform will see five State workplace relations bodies merged into two

Jobs Richard Bruton today secured Government approval for the Workplace Relations Bill 2014.

The law, when enacted, will replace the current five workplace relations bodies with two. The new system will provide a world-class service for employers and employees, while also delivering savings for the taxpayer.

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It forms part of a broader reform programme within the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation which will see the total number of agencies under the responsibility of the Department reduced by 41 by end 2014.

The new workplace relations system will comprise two bodies – the Workplace Relations Commission which will deal with complaints at first instance, and the Labour Court which will deal with appeals.

The various responsibilities of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), the Equality Tribunal, Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) and the Labour Court, which have built up over time, will be subsumed into the two new bodies.

Enactment of this legislation is targeted by the end of 2014, and will deliver much needed reform of the State’s workplace relations services and institutions. The current system is confusing and frustrating for employers, employees and professionals representing them.

The cost of running the workplace relations institutions will be cut by €2m (or 10%) when the project is completed. At the same time the number of staff assigned to the bodies will fall by 20% as efficiencies are generated following the mergers.