Bill to strengthen worker agreements

AFTER legal challenges by employers in a number of sectors, the Government has moved to secure binding industry employment agreements governing worker terms and conditions.

Labour Affairs Minister Dara Calleary yesterday announced the Industrial relations (Amendment) Bill which his department said would strengthen the existing system for making employment regulation orders (EROs) and registered employment agreements (REAs).

Challenges to the industry binding mechanisms have come from employers in sectors such as hoteliers and electrical contractors.

The minister said: “The joint labour committee and registered employment agreement systems have been the subject of a number of recent legal challenges in the courts. This bill will provide for a number of amendments to the existing legislative framework surrounding the JLC and REA systems, including improved procedures, and clear principles and policies to be taken into account by JLCs when formulating proposals for EROs. The bill also provides that legislative effect for EROs and REAs will in future be made by ministerial order and provides for Oireachtas scrutiny of the orders.”

Meanwhile, worker representatives at Thomas Cook yesterday said talks with management over the high profile closure of shops in Dublin have broken down.

According to the TSSA union the dispute has now been forwarded to the Labour Relations Commission with a hearing expected on Monday.

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